Type 304 Stainless Steel is the most widely used of the austenitic (chromium/nickel) stainless steels. In the annealed condition it is essentially non-magnetic and becomes slightly magnetic with the application of cold work. Type 304L Stainless Steel is preferred in welding applications to exclude the formation of chromium carbides during cooling in the heat affected region of the weld. These alloys represent an excellent combination of corrosion resistance and fabricability.

Product Forms:

Sheet, Strip


Type 304 – ASTM A240, ASTM A666, AMS 5513 Type 304L – ASTM A240, ASTM A666, AMS 5511

Typical Applications:

Chemical equipment and piping, heat exchanger components, dairy and food handling equipment and utensils, cryogenic vessels and components, architectural and structural applications exposed to non-marine atmospheres

Chemical Composition: (Per ASTM A240)

ElementType 304Type 304L
Carbon0.07Max0.030 Max
Manganese2.00Max2.00 Max
Sulfur0.030 Max0.030 Max
Phosphorus0.045 Max0.045 Max
Silicon0.75 Max0.75 Max
Chromium17.5 to 19.518.0 to 20.0
Nickel8.0 to 10.58.0 to 12.0
Nitrogen0.10 Max0.10 Max

Mechanical Properties: (Per ASTM A240, A666)

TypeYield Strength 0.2% offset (KSI)Tensile Strength (KSI)% Elongation(2″ Gauge length)
304 Ann30 min.75 min.40 min.
304 ¼ Hard75 min.125 min.12 min.
304 ½ Hard110 min.150 min.7 min.
304L Ann25 min.70 min.40 min.
304L ¼ Hard75 min.125 min.12 min.
304L ½ Hard110 min.150 min.6 min.


Physical Properties: (annealed)



304 & 304L

Density (lb./ in^2) @ RT



Modulus of Elasticity in Tension (psi x 10^6)



Specific Heat (BTU/o F/lb.)

32 to 212 oF


Thermal Conductivity (BTU/hr/ft^2/ft)






Mean Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (in. x 10^-6 per o F)

32 to 212oF



32 to 600oF



32 to 1,000oF



32 to 1,200oF


Electrical Resistivity (micro ohms – cm)

at 70oF


Melting Point Range (oF)


2550 to 2650

Oxidation Resistance – Continuous Service(oF)



Oxidation Resistance – Intermittent Service(oF)




Types 304 and 304L cannot be hardened by thermal treatment. Annealing: Heat to 1850o F to 2050 o F and cool at sufficiently high rates through 1500oF to 800oF to avoid precipitation of chromium carbides. Stress Relief Annealing: Cold worked parts should be stress relieved at 750oF for ½ to 2 hours.


Annealed Types 304 and 304L can be fabricated by roll forming, deep drawing, bending and most other fabrication techniques. Due to the high work hardening rate of these materials, intermediate anneals maybe required to successfully fabricate the part.


Types 304 and 304L are weldable by most fusion or resistance welding techniques. If filler metal is required, Type 308 is normally used. Type 304L should be used in heavier sections to reduce the occurrence of carbide precipitation in the heat affected region adjacent to the weld pool


Types 304 and 304L provides corrosion resistance in a wide range of moderately oxidizing and reducing conditions, fresh water and non-marine applications.

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