We offer different types of stainless steel, 201, 304, 316L, 430, and each has its unique composition and qualities. Depending on the chemical compositions of the steel, it has different properties. It may be harder, stronger, easier to work with, magnetic or not. Different steels have different price points as well.
Stainless Steel Grade 201
Grade 201 stainless steel is an alloy that contains around 1% nickel with china standard (GB), It is quite popular among China and developing countries.
While it is less expensive than some other alloys (because of its low nickel content), it is not as easy to work or form. Type 201 is an austenitic metal because it is non-magnetic stainless steel that contains high levels of chromium and nickel and low levels of carbon. It is a mid-range product with a variety of useful qualities. While it is ideal for certain uses, however, it is not a good choice for corrosive and chemical conditions.
Stainless Steel Grade 304
Grade 304 is the standard "18/8" stainless; it is the most versatile and most widely used stainless steel, available in a wider range of products, forms and finishes than any other. It has excellent forming and welding characteristics. The balanced austenitic structure of Grade 304 enables it to be severely deep drawn without intermediate annealing, which has made this grade dominant in the manufacture of drawn stainless parts such as sinks, hollow-ware and saucepans. For these applications, it is common to use special "304DDQ" (Deep Drawing Quality) variants. Grade 304 readily brakes or roll formed into a variety of components for applications in the industrial, architectural, and transportation fields. Grade 304 also has outstanding welding characteristics. Post-weld annealing is not required when welding thin sections.
Stainless Steel Grade 316L
Grade 316 is the standard molybdenum-bearing grade, second in importance to 304 amongst the austenitic stainless steels. The molybdenum gives 316 better overall corrosion resistant properties than Grade 304, particularly higher resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion in chloride environments.
Grade 316L, the low carbon version of 316 and is immune from sensitization (grain boundary carbide precipitation). Thus it is extensively used in heavy gauge welded components (over about 6mm). There is commonly no appreciable price difference between 316 and 316L stainless steel.
The austenitic structure also gives these grades excellent toughness, even down to cryogenic temperatures.
Compared to chromium-nickel austenitic stainless steels, 316L stainless steel offers higher creep, stress to rupture and tensile strength at elevated temperatures.
Stainless Steel Grade 430
Stainless Steel Grade 430 is the most commonly used ferritic stainless steel, It is moderately corrosion resistant, and is useful in mildly corrosive conditions. Grade 430 has useful resistance to heat and oxidation and is not susceptible to stress corrosion cracking.
It has good formability and fabrication characteristics, mechanical properties, although inferior to the austenitic stainless steels.
In most applications, the steel is used where the corrosion environment is only mildly aggressive when it gives long lasting appearance and service life.
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