Stainless Steel Grade 304 vs 304L

 Product Data Sheet – Stainless Steel

Grades 304 vs 304L

Grade 304L is used in welded sections of about 5mm and thicker. The lower carbon content (0.03% maximum) avoids the formation of coarse chromium carbide particles at grain boundaries due to extended times at elevated temperatures during welding. Grade 304 may suffer corrosion at grain boundaries due to sensitisation after welding at these gauges. Grade 304 is usually adequate at lighter gauges.There are several different national & international specifications for grade 304L. This note details some of these differences.

Country

Australia

USA

Japan

Europe

Specification

AS1449:1994

ASTM A240

JIS G4305

En10088-2:1995

Grade Name 304 304L 304 304L 304 304L 304 304L
S30400 S30403 1.4301 1.4306
Chemistry %
Carbon < 0.08 < 0.03 < 0.08 < 0.03 < 0.08 < 0.03 < 0.07 < 0.03
Nitrogen < 0.10 < 0.10 < 0.10 < 0.11 < 0.11
Chromium 18.0-20.0 18.0-20.0 18.0-20.0 18.0-20.0 18.0-20.0 18.0-20.0 17.0-19.5 18.0-20.0
Nickel 8.0-10.5 8.0-12.0 8.0-10.5 8.0-12.0 8.0-10.5 9.0-13.0 8.0-10.5 10.0-12.0
Properties (min)
0.2% Proof Stress (MPa) 205 170 205 170 205 175 230 220
Tensile Strength (MPa) 520 485 515 485 520 480 540-750 520-670
Elongation (%) 40 40 40.0 40.0 40 40 45 45

Time – Temperature – Transformation (TTT) Diagram

This diagram (for grade 304) shows curves which separate the area to the left, where sensitisation is negligible, from that to the right of the curve, where sensitisation is present. It can be seen that the critical cooling rate to avoid sensitisation depends strongly on the carbon content.

The critical time to avoid sensitisation is slightly different for each grade, but the form of the effect is the same.

Stainless Steel Grade 304 vs 304L

 

The technical advice and recommendations made in this Product Data Sheet should not be relied or acted upon without conducting your own further investigations, including corrosion exposure tests where needed. Please consult current editions of standards for design properties. Austral Wright Metals assumes no liability in connection with the information in this Product Data Sheet. Austral Wright Metals supplies a comprehensive range of stainless steels, copper alloys, nickel alloys and other high performance metals for challenging service conditions. Our engineers and metallurgists will be pleased to provide further data and applications advice.
BACK