Properties of 304 stainless steel wafers and foils

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Type 304 and 304 L Stainless Steel

304 Stainless Steel (SS) is an austenitic stainless steel with Face Centered Cubic (F.C.C.) atomic structure which provides numerous planes for the movement of dislocations. This inherent property, combined with the low level of interstitial elements (elements which lack the dislocation chain), gives this material high ductility, low yield stress and relatively high ultimate tensile strength.

As steel is heated above critical temperature (approx. 1335 F) it undergoes a phase change, recrystallizing as austenite. Continued heating to approx. 1450 - 1500F assures complete conversion to austenite. The high chrome and nickel content of austenitic stainless steel suppresses the transformation on cooling to a ferrite/cementite, keeping the material fully austenite, as well as rendering it essentially non-magnetic in the annealed condition. This gives austenitic stainless steels excellent cryogenic properties, good high-temperature strength and oxidation resistance. Excellent corrosion resistance, non-magnetic properties and exceptionally high toughness at all temperatures make these steels suitable for a wide variety of applications.

Physical Properties of 304 SS Wafers and Foils

Density: 7.90 g/cu cm 0.285 lbs/cu in
Melting Point: 1.399 - 1421 C 2550 - 2590 F
Specific Gravity: 7.90  

Electrical Resistivity

Temperature 10-6 ohm-cm 10-6 ohm-in
C F    
20 68 72 28.3
100 212 78 30.7
200 392 86 33.8
400 752 100 39.4
600 1112 111 437
800 1472 121 47.6
900 1652 126 49.6

Thermal Conductivity

Temperature W/mK Btu/hr.ft.F
C F    
100 212 16.3 9.4
500 932 21.4 12.4

Coefficient of Thermal Expansion

Temperature cm/cm/C 10-6 in/in/F 10-6
C F    
0-100 32-212   9.6
0-316 32-600   9.9
0-538 32-1000   10.2
0-649 32-1200   10.4

Magnetic Permeability

Percent Cold Work 304 SS 304 L SS
Annealed 1.005 1.015
1/4 Hard 1.009 1.064
1/2 Hard 1.163 3.235
Full Hard 2.291 8.480

Hardness, Max.

Property 304 SS 304 L SS
Brinell 201 201
Rb 92 92

MECHANICAL PROPERTIES

Tensile and Yield Strength

Alloy Temper Tensile Stength Minimum (PSC) Yield Strength Minimum 0.2% offset
304 Annealed 75,000 30,000
304 1/4 Hard 125,000 75,000
304 1/2 Hard 150,000 110,000
304 Full Hard 185,000 140,000

Modulus of Elasticity, Annealed: 29,000 KSI

CHEMICAL PROPERTIES

Type 304 Stainless Steel Chemnistry % by Weight

C   0.08% Max. Mn   20% Max. P   0.045%
Cu   0.75% Max Mo   0.75% Max. S   0.05%
Cr   18-20% N   0.10% Max. Si   1.00% Max.
Fe   Balance Ni   8-10.5% Max.  

Carbon Content

Grade Typical Carbon Content
304 L Low Carbon 0.03% Max.
304 Medium Carbon 0.08% Max.
304 H High Carbon 0.10% Max.

The lower carbon in Type 304 L has lower corrosion rate than the higher carbon type 304 alloy when exposed to formic acid, sulfuric acid and Sodium Hydroxide.

Stainless Steel Surface Finish Data

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Updated: 19 June 2012