304 and 304L stainless steels are among the most versatile and widely used of all the stainless steel grades. So, what is it that makes these the best all-around performance stainless steels, and what’s the difference between the two?
Benefits of 304 and 304L Stainless Steel
- High strength
- Excellent formability and weldability
- Excellent low-temperature properties
- Great response to hardening by cold working
- High corrosion/oxidation resistance
- Carefully controlled chemical composition
- Affordable cost
304 and 304L can be press-baked or roll-formed into numerous shapes for various applications across industrial, architectural, and transportation sectors.
What is the Difference Between 304 and 304L Stainless Steel?
When it comes to variations between 304 and 304L stainless steel, an essential thing to note is the latter’s greater immunity to intergranular corrosion. Intergranular corrosion is the cracking that can occur along grain boundaries of steel in the presence of tensile stress.
304 stainless steel has good welding characteristics and does not typically require post-weld annealing.
304L stainless steel also doesn’t require post-weld annealing and is widely used in heavy-gauge components where its immunity to carbide precipitation is needed.
Common Applications of 304 and 304L Stainless Steel
- Architectural moldings & trim
- Kitchen equipment (sinks, saucepans)
- Plumbing materials
- Chemical processing equipment
- Textile industry equipment
- Paper industry processing equipment
- Pharmaceutical equipment
Call Tampa Steel & Supply for Quality Products
Tampa Steel & Supply has proudly served Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater, and the surrounding areas with quality steel and metal products since 1974. If you’re a contractor with questions regarding our inventory and different grades of steel or working on an independent home renovation project, contact us or stop by our showroom to see our vast selection for yourself. Call us today, we are passionate about helping you turn your dreams into reality.