The 304 stainless steel sheet is commonly used for applications that require corrosion resistance. It is an alloy with 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel. It is non-magnetic, making it a great metal for use in moving parts, like those in aerospace and automotive machinery. It is also highly used for instruments. This metal has great forming, drawing and stamping properties. It can be deeply drawn to form kitchen sinks, hollow-ware and saucepans. As a chromium-nickel alloy, it has excellent resistance to heat and corrosion. It can be stress relieved and welded without the instance of intergranular corrosion.
The corrosion resistance of this alloy is why it’s frequently used in the chemical, dairy, cryogenic, and dye industries. It can be used for parts that handle dyestuffs, crude oils, organic chemicals, and moderately aggressive organic acids. Because it has a low content of carbon, it is safe for use for kitchen equipment and for welded construction operations. Cold working can be used to increase the strength and hardness of 304 alloys. Heat treatment can’t be used to harden it. Keep in mind that cold working can cause slight magnetism.
This metal has great weldability, machinability and formability. It can be forged in uniform heat up to 2350 degrees F. Temperatures below 1700 degrees F should be avoided when forging. Fusion and resistance welding can be used, which leaves it tough and ductile. Special consideration should be given to avoid “hot cracking”. This can be done by ensuring ferrite formation within the weld deposit. The drawability is also great, due to its high elongation and low yield strength.