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AISI 304 Grade Stainless Steel Properties, Tensile Yield Strength, Thermal Conductivity

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AISI 304 Stainless Steel (UNS S30400)

AISI 304 stainless steel (UNS S30400) is the most widely used stainless steel, containing 18-20% Cr and 8-10.5% Ni, and also known as 18-8 stainless steel. Type 304 is non-magnetic under annealing conditions, but after cold working (such as stamping, stretching, bending, rolling), part of the austenite structure may be converted into martensite and therefore weakly magnetic. AISI 304 has good resistance to atmospheric corrosion and oxidation. The high nickel-chromium alloy content gives it excellent corrosion resistance and is widely used in the food industry as a standard food grade stainless steel.

There are several variants of 304 grade stainless steel, such as ultra-low-carbon version type 304L, nitrogen-containing version 304N, 304H with improved creep performance, and type 302 with higher carbon content. The second most widely used 316 grade stainless steel, compared with AISI 304, reduced chromium content, increased nickel content, and added 2-3% molybdenum. The addition of molybdenum can enhance the resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion caused by chloride. Therefore, 316 SS is widely used in marine applications.

Type 304 Stainless Steel Properties

The following tables give AISI 304 stainless steel properties and specifications (datasheet) including chemical composition, physical and mechanical properties, heat treatment, corrosion resistance, machinability and machining, welding, etc.

Chemical Composition

Type 304 stainless steel chemical composition is listed in the following table.

Type 304 Stainless Steel Composition, %
ASTM StandardAISI (UNS)C, ≤Si, ≤Mn, ≤P, ≤S, ≤CrNiN, ≤
ASTM A240/A240M304 (UNS S30400)0.070.752.000.0450.0317.5-19.58.0-10.50.1
ASTM A276/A276M0.
ASTM 666;
SAE J405
ASTM A313/A313M0.
ASTM A479/A479M0.
ASTM A314;
ASTM A580/A580M
ASTM A4730.
ASTM A9590.


  • ASTM A240/A240M: Chromium and Chromium-Nickel Stainless Steel Plate, Sheet, and Strip for Pressure Vessels and for General Applications
  • ASTM A276/A276M: Standard Specification for Stainless Steel Bars and Shapes
  • ASTM A313/A313M: Stainless Steel Spring Wire
  • ASTM A314: Standard Specification for Stainless Steel Billets and Bars for Forging
  • ASTM A473: Stainless Steel Forgings
  • ASTM A479/A479M: Stainless Steel Bars and Shapes for Use in Boilers and Other Pressure Vessels
  • ASTM A580/A580M: Stainless Steel Wire
  • ASTM 666: Annealed or Cold-Worked Austenitic Stainless Steel Sheet, Strip, Plate, and Flat Bar
  • ASTM A959: Standard Guide for Specifying Harmonized Standard Grade Compositions for Wrought Stainless Steels
  • SAE J405: Chemical Composition of SAE Wrought Stainless Steels

Physical Properties

Type 304 grade stainless steel physical properties are listed in the table below such as density, melting point, specific heat, electrical resistivity, elastic modulus (modulus of elasticity), thermal conductivity, and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE).


  • 10-6·K-1 = 10-6/K
  • 1 Ω·mm²/m = 1 μΩ·m
  • 1 g/cm3 = 1 kg/dm3 = 1000 kg/m3
  • 1 GPa = 1 kN/mm2
  • 1 MPa = 1 N/mm2
Type 304 Stainless Steel Physical Properties
Density, g/cm3 (lb/in3)7.93 (0.286)
Melting point, °C (°F)1400-1450 (2550-2650)
Specific heat capacity, J/kg·K (Btu/lb ·°F)500 (0.12) at 20 °C (68 °F)
Electrical resistivity, μΩ·m0.72 at 20 °C (68 °F)
Conductivity, %, IACS2.5
Magnetic permeability1.02 (Approximate)
Elastic modulus (Modulus of Elasticity), GPa (106 psi)193 (28)
Thermal diffusivity, mm2/s (in2/s)3.84 (0.006)
Thermal conductivity, W/m·K (Btu/ft·h·°F)16.2 (9.4) at 100 °C (212 °F)
21.5 (12.4) at 500 °C (932 °F)
Coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), 10-6/K (μin./in·°F)17.2 (9.6) at 0-100 °C (32-212 °F)
17.8 (9.9) at 0-315 °C (32-600 °F)
18.4 (10.2) at 0-538 °C (32-1000 °F)

AISI 304 Stainless Steel Mechanical Properties

AISI 304 stainless steel mechanical properties are given in the datasheet below including tensile strength, yield strength, elongation, reduction in area, Brinell and Rockwell hardness, etc.

ASTM A276 Type 304 Stainless Steel Mechanical Properties
ASTMAISI (UNS)Tensile Strength, Mpa (ksi), ≥0.2% Yield Strength, Mpa (ksi), ≥Elongation in 2 in. (50 mm), %, ≥Reduction of Area, %, ≥Conditions
ASTM A276/A276M304 (UNS S30400),
304LN (UNS S30453)
515 (75)205 (30)4050Annealed, Hot finished
620 (90)310 (45)3040Annealed, Cold finished, Dia ≤ 1/2 in (12.7mm)
515 (75)205 (30)3040Annealed, Cold finished, Dia > 1/2 in (12.7mm)
ASTM A240 Type 304 Stainless Steel Mechanical Properties
ASTMAISI (UNS)Tensile Strength, Mpa (ksi), ≥0.2% Yield Strength, Mpa (ksi), ≥Elongation in 2 in. (50 mm), %, ≥Brinell Hardness, HB, ≤Rockwell Hardness, HRB,  ≤
ASTM A240/A240M304 (UNS S30400)515 (75)205 (30)4020192
ASTM A666 Type 304 Mechanical Properties
ASTM StandardAISI Type (UNS)ConditionsTensile Strength, MPa (ksi), ≥0.2% Yield Strength, MPa (ksi), ≥Elongation in 50 mm (2 in.), %, ≥Brinell Hardness (HB), ≤Rockwell Hardness (HRB), ≤
ASTM A666304 (UNS S30400)Annealed517 (75)205 (30)4020192
1/2 Hard (Half Hard)1035 (150)760 (110)6 (<0.015 in);
7 (≥ 0.015 in)
1/4 (Quarter-hard) Hard862 (125)517 (75)10 (≤ 0.03 in);
12 (> 0.03 in)
1/8 Hard690 (100)380 (55)35
304 plate, strip, sheet1/16 Hard550 (80)310 (45)40
304 flat bar620 (90)310 (45)40 (>0.030 in)
ASTM A313 Type 304 Stainless Steel Spring Wire Tensile Strength Requirements
Diameter (d), in.Diameter (d), mmBend Test, Minimum Number of BendsksiMPa
When wire is specified in straightened and cut lengths, the minimum tensile strength shall be 90 % of the values listed in the table.
ASTM A473 Type 304 Mechanical Properties
ASTMAISI (UNS)Tensile Strength, Mpa (ksi), ≥0.2% Yield Strength, Mpa (ksi), ≥Elongation in 2 in. (50 mm), %, ≥Reduction of Area, %, ≥SectionsConditions
ASTM A473/A473M304 (UNS S30400)515 (75)205 (30)4050≤ 5 in. (127 mm)Annealed
485 (70)> 5 in. (127 mm)Annealed
ASTM A479 Type 304 Mechanical Properties
ASTMAISI (UNS)Tensile Strength, Mpa (ksi), ≥0.2% Yield Strength, Mpa (ksi), ≥Elongation in 2 in. (50 mm), %, ≥Reduction of Area, %, ≥Conditions
ASTM A479/A479M304, 304H, 304LN515 (75)205 (30)3040Annealed
ASTM A580 Type 304 Mechanical Properties
ASTMAISI (UNS)Tensile Strength, Mpa (ksi), ≥0.2% Yield Strength, Mpa (ksi), ≥Elongation in 2 in. (50 mm), %, ≥Reduction of Area, %, ≥Conditions
ASTM A580/A580M304 (UNS S30400)620 (90)310 (45)3040Annealed, cold finished
515 (75)205 (30)3550Annealed

Type 304 Stainless Steel Heat Resistance

Maximum service temperature in air
AISI typeIntermittent serviceContinuous service
304870 °C (1600 °F)925 °C (1700 °F)

AISI 304 Stainless Steel Heat Treatment

The following contents give AISI 304 stainless steel heat treatment temperature of including annealing, forging, stress relief, etc.


Recommended annealing temperature for austenitic stainless steel 304: 1040 °C (1900 °F).


Typical forging temperature range is 925-1260 °C (1700-2300 °F).

Hot bending of steel tubes

Hot bending temperature is over 1150 °C (2100 °F), after bending, heat treat to 1095-1120 °C (2000–2050 °F). Furnace cool to 315 °C (600 °F); then air cool.

Stress-relieving Treatment

  • Stress-relieving for dimensional stability: ③. (See notes)
  • Stress-relieving for structural soundness (Where severe manufacturing stress coupled with high service load may cause cracking. Also after welding heavy parts): ①
  • For intergranular corrosion: ①.
  • Stress relief after severe forming: ①.
  • For remove peak stresses only: ②
  • For mild stress corrosion: ① (preferred), ②
  • For moderate stress corrosion: ①. However, in order to provide the best stress relief treatment, it is recommended to use a stabilized or ultra-low carbon grade.
  • Severe stress corrosion application: stabilized (such as 318, 321, 347) or ultra-low carbon grade (such as 304L, 316L) is recommended.
  • Oven stress-relief temperature and time for 304 stainless steel wire: 345 °C (650 °F), minimum 30 minutes.


  • ①: Anneal at 1065-1120 °C (1950-2050 °F), then quench or cool rapidly.
  • ②: Stress relieve below 480 °C (900 °F) and then slow cool.
  • ③: Stress relieve at 205-480 °C (400-900 °F) and then slow cool (usual time, 4 h per inch of section).


Conventional austenite such as AISI 304 stainless steel cannot be hardened by heat treatment, because they will not change their crystal lattice structure when heated, so they can only be hardened by cold working. Cold working will transform a part of austenite into martensite. As the amount of martensite in the steel increases, its strength increases and its plasticity decreases.

Corrosion Resistance

The reason why stainless steel does not rust is because the Cr and Fe in it are oxidized to form a dense passive film to prevent further corrosion.

AISI 304 stainless steel has excellent corrosion resistance in mild atmosphere and fresh water, and even the surface will not rust. But it’s not resistant to halide (such as chloride, fluoride, etc.) corrosion, because the halide can easily penetrate the passive film and make stainless steel lose the resistance.

Welding of AISI 304 Stainless Steel

Type 304 stainless steel has excellent weldability and does not require preheating. Generally, post-weld heat treatment is not required, unless large cross-sections are welded, or weld decay may occor.

To prevent weld decay, please refer to heat treatment-stress relief, or recommend the use of ultra-low carbon stainless steel such as 304L, or stabilized stainless steel 321, 347.

Filler metal for welding of AISI 304 stainless steel: E308, E309. When the service temperature is 370 °C (700 °F), E308L can be used.

Typical Applications

AISI 304 stainless steel is widely used in the food industry, home appliances and consumer electronics, medical equipment, architectural decoration, hardware tools, automotive industry, petrochemical, water treatment plants, aerospace, etc. The following list shows typical uses in various industries:

  • Food industry: tableware and kitchenware such as stainless steel woks, steamers, pans, forks, chopsticks, baking trays, bbq grills, dairy containers, sterilization baskets.
  • Electronic appliances: 304 stainless steel liner of electric kettle, washing machine drum, watch and mobile phone shell, microwave oven, range hood cover, control cabinet, water pump case, etc.
  • Medical equipment: medical cabinets, medical trolleys, sterilizing container, work table, etc.
  • Hardware tools: stainless steel screws and nuts, steel spring, hardware cloth, window screens, scissors, faucets, shower heads, safety screen;
  • Water treatment plants: valves, flanges, water pipelines, water purification equipment.
  • Petrochemical industry: filter equipment, oil and gas pipelines.

AISI 304 Equivalent Grade

Type 304 stainless steel equivalent to European EN (Germany DIN, British BSI, French NF…), ISO, Japanese JIS and Chinese GB standard (For reference).

AISI 304 stainless steel equivalent grade
USEuropean UnionGermanyBritain (UK)ISOJapanChina
StandardGrade (UNS)StandardSteel Name (Steel Number)StandardGrade (Steel Number)StandardGrade (Steel Number)StandardGradeStandardGradeStandardGrade
(UNS S30400)
EN 10088-2;
EN 10088-3
X5CrNi18-10 (1.4301)DIN EN 10088-2;
DIN 17440
X5CrNi18-10 (1.4301)BS EN 10088-2;
BS970 :1996
X5CrNi18-10 (1.4301);
304S15, 304S31
ISO 15510X5CrNi18-10JIS G4304SUS304GB/T 1220;
GB/T 3280
0Cr18Ni9 (Old designation)

Related Material: AISI 303 Stainless Steel, EN 1.4034 (X46Cr13), SS 410, Duplex 2205, SS904L

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