304 vs 316 Stainless Steel SS304 vs SS316, Difference Between 304 and 316 Stainless Steel

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304 vs 316 Stainless Steel

The main difference between 304 vs 316 stainless steel is the composition and corrosion resistance, SS304 doesn’t contain molybdenum while SS316 contains 2-3% molybdenum. The addition of molybdenum provides pitting resistance in phosphoric acid, acetic acid and dilute chloride solutions and provides corrosion resistance in sulfurous acid. In addition, AISI 304 has a 18% Cr and 8% Ni and therefore known as 18-8 stainless steel, while AISI 316 has a 16% Chromium and 10% Nickel.

Difference Between 304 and 316 Stainless Steel in Chemical Composition

The following table shows the difference between 304 and 316 stainless steel in composition.

SS304 vs SS316 Composition (%)
Steel Grade C, ≤ Si ≤ Mn ≤ P ≤ S ≤ Cr Ni Mo
304 0.08 1.00 2.00 0.045 0.030 18.0-20.0 8.0-11.0
316 0.08 1.00 2.00 0.045 0.030 16.0-18.0 10.0-14.0 2.0-3.0
304L 0.03 1.00 2.00 0.035 0.030 18.0-20.0 8.0-12.0
316L 0.03 1.00 2.00 0.045 0.030 16.0-18.0 10.0-14.0 2.0-3.0

SS304 vs SS316 Mechanical Properties

304 vs 316 stainless steel properties

SS304 vs SS316 Mechanical Properties
ASTM UNS AISI Tensile Strength, MPa (ksi), ≥ 0.2% Yield Strength, MPa (ksi), ≥ Elongation in 50 mm, %, ≥ Reduction in area, %, ≥ Brinell Hardness (HBW) ≤ Rockwell Hardness (HRBW)  ≤ Condition
ASTM A276/A276M UNS S30400 304 515 (75) 205 (30) 40 50 Annealed, Hot finished
UNS S31600 316
UNS S30400 304 620 (90) 310 (45) 30 40 Annealed, Cold finished, ≤ 0.5 in. (12.7 mm)
UNS S31600 316
ASTM A240/A240M UNS S30400 304 515 (75) 205 (30) 40 201 92
UNS S31600 316 217 95

304 vs 316 Stainless Steel Strength and Hardness

304 vs 316 stainless steel strength and hardness can be found in the above table.

304 vs 316 Stainless Steel Cost

AISI 304 vs 316 stainless steel cost: Taking steel plates as an example, the cost of 316 is about 1.5 times the cost of 304. The price of stainless steel depends on the price of the alloying element and the amount of the alloy (eg Ni, Cr and Mo). The price of molybdenum (Mo) is about twice that of nickel (Ni), six times that of chromium (Cr), 316 nickel content is higher than 304, and 316 contains molybdenum, while 304 does not contain it, so the cost of 316 is higher than 304.

SS304 vs SS316 Corrosion

Since Mo is added to SS316, Mo can improve the pitting resistance and is therefore more resistant to corrosion than SS304.

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