Type 304 / 304L Stainless Steel is the Most Reliable & Popular Material Grade
Allegeni is the leading brand of stainless steel sheets and plates in the austenitic group 300 series. The properties described on this page for Allegeni are specific to flat-rolled products (plate, sheet, and strip).
A common characteristic of this grade is that they can be hardened by cold working and not by heat treatment. They have excellent corrosion resistance, unusually good formability, and increase in strength as a result of cold work.
ASTM A240 and ASTM A480 or type 304 is popular among specifiers and designers for it can withstand ordinary rusting in architecture. It is non-magnetic and is resistant to high-volume food processing environments except for high-temperature conditions involving high acid and chloride contents such as seawater. Furthermore, it resists organic chemicals, dyestuffs, and a wide variety of inorganic chemicals, making it a very reliable grade.
304L has a lower carbon content of .03% that eliminates carbide precipitation and intergranular corrosion. It is used extensively for storage of liquified gases, equipment for use at cryogenic temperatures, appliances and other consumer products, kitchen equipment, transportation and waste water treatment.
304 and 304L are fire-resistant and strength can be increased by cold working and not hot treatment. To avoid softening or loss of strength that usually occurs in the 300 series (304, 316, etc.) stainless steels can only be heated below 1000° F. Carbide precipitation can occur in the 300 series in the temperature range 800 – 1600° F.
According to the British Stainless Steel Association, this grade is likely to continue to form the backbone of the stainless steel market for years to come. The Nickel Institute came out with the Practical Guidelines for the Fabrication of High Performance Austenitic Stainless Steels which indicates the mechanical and physical properties, forming, cutting, machining, annealing, welding methods and the proper care of the material belonging to the 300 Series.
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