Difference Between 304 vs 316 Stainless Steel

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Difference Between 304 vs 316 Stainless Steel

The main difference between 304 vs 316 stainless steel is that 304 does not contain molybdenum, while 316 contains 2-3% molybdenum. 304 belongs to the Cr-Ni system, and 316 belongs to the Cr-Ni-Mo system. The addition of molybdenum can provide pitting resistance in phosphoric acid, acetic acid and dilute chloride solutions, and provide corrosion resistance in sulfuric acid. In addition, molybdenum in steels also promotes resistance to heat, impact, wear and toughness.

Difference in Chemical Composition

304 has 18% chromium and 8% nickel, so it is called 18/8 stainless steel, while AISI 316 stainless steel has 16% chromium, 10% nickel and 2% molybdenum. The following table lists the chemical composition difference between 304 and 316 stainless steel.

Chemical Composition, %
Stainless steel 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

Stainless 304 vs 316 Properties

304 vs 316 Stainless Steel Mechanical Properties
ASTM 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 304, 316 515 (75) 205 (30) 40 50 Annealed, Hot finished
304, 316 620 (90) 310 (45) 30 40 Annealed, Cold finished, ≤ 0.5 in. (12.7 mm)
ASTM A240/A240M 304 515 (75) 205 (30) 40 201 92
316 217 95

Stainless 304 vs 316 Price Difference

AISI 304 vs 316 stainless steel price: Taking steel plates as an example, the price of 316 is about 1.5 times that 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.

Difference Between 304 and 316 Corrosion

Since 316 contains 2-3% molybdenum, and molybdenum can improve the pitting resistance, therefore 316 is more resistant to corrosion than 304.

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