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AISI 304 / 304 L steel

AISI 304 and AISI 304 L is an austenitic chromium-nickel steel with good corrosion resistance in natural environmental media, good processing properties and when high demands are made on appearance. Excellent corrosion resistance, high strength and low carbon content make these austenitic steels particularly suitable for applications requiring welding. AISI 304 SS is not suitable for use in chlorine and salt concentrations.

In the welded condition, this stainless steel is not resistant to intergranular corrosion, in which case it is advisable to use AISI 304 L.

AISI 304 Special Steel

International identifiers

SS 2332, ASTM TP304, UNS S30400, AFNOR Z6CN18-09, BS 304S15, UNI X5CrNi1810, JIS SUS304, GOST 08Ch18N10, GB 0Cr18Ni9, 1.4301, 1.4307

Chemical composition

AISI 304
C Si Mn P S Cr Mo Ni V
min. 17.5 8.0
max. 0.07 1.00 2.00 0.045 0.03 19.5 10.5 0.1


In the forging process, slow heating to about 1150°C – 1180°C takes place to forge in a temperature range of 1180°C – 950°C. Subsequently, air or water cooling takes place. Corrosion resistance is reduced by scale or tarnish. Removal is by chloride-free chemical or mechanical processes.


Stainless steel AISI 304 has very good weldability. The interpass temperature should not exceed 200°C. Solution annealing should be performed after welding if the carbon content is in the upper range. The heat input during welding can influence the corrosion resistance.

Corrosion resistance

AISI 304 l steel is susceptible to intergranular corrosion, which is related to the formation of chromium carbides on the grain boundaries. It has good corrosion resistance in natural environmental media. However, this grade of material should not be used in salt and chlorine concentrations, such as in seawater or swimming pools. Due to its low carbon content, steel F316 L is much more resistant than SS 304 and has excellent corrosion resistance in salt and chlorine concentrations.


Like all austenites, steel 304 hardens during machining. A large depth of cut must be selected for this.

Cold forming

304 AISI steel is suitable for cold forming. With increasing demands on cold formability, materials with a higher nickel content are recommended.

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