Differences Between 304 & 316 Grades of Stainless Steel

The difference between 304 & 316 stainless steel and the best type of stainless steel for your next wire mesh project.

6x6 Mesh .063" Wire .104" Opening 38.9% OA

6×6 Mesh .063″ Wire .104″ Opening 38.9% OA

304 Stainless Steel

Known as A2 stainless, 304 stainless steel is the most common of the stainless steel family. It contains roughly 16 to 25 percent chromium and up to 36 percent nickel by composition, as well as small amounts of carbon and manganese. The most common form of 304 stainless steel is 18-8, or 18/8 stainless steel which contains 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel.

An austenite steel, 304 is non-magnetic and exhibits poor thermal and electrical conductivity. While it boasts excellent malleability and can be formed into required shapes, it also carries increased corrosion resistance when compared to regular steel.

316 Stainless Steel

316 stainless steel, also known as marine grade stainless or A4 stainless, is well-known for its increased resistance to corrosion and its superb abilities in salt-water and marine applications. While it comes with the same physical properties as 304 as well as similar utilitarian functions, the big difference is the incorporation of molybdenum, generally ranging from 2-3% by composition (although some specialty 300-series stainless steels can contain up to 7-8% molybdenum).

316 stainless steel is generally used whenever chemical process and high-salinity environments warrant chloride-resistant features and due to its non-reactive traits, is also widely used in the manufacture of medical & surgical equipment.

The Differences between 304 & 316 Stainless Steel

Austenic steels are known for their versatility.  Lawrence Sintered Metals carries a full assortment of stainless steel meshes in 304 and 316 stainless steel, as well as other grades. The benefits of stainless steel also come with age and proper care as low-maintenance requirements and long service life ensure that architectural and mechanical integrity will be non-issues for years to come.

If you’re planning on using stainless steel in salt water environments, 316 is the proper alloy. If you’re looking for a durable alloy and superior corrosion resistance isn’t necessary, 304 stainless can work perfectly. To learn more about what we can do for you and determine whether 304 or 316 stainless steel is the suitable choice for your wire mesh project.

Give us a call at 626-333-6830 for your free quote.