The 300 series of stainless steels are part of the austenitic family, which are known for their corrosion resistance, weldability, and formability. They contain a high level of chromium and nickel, which provides superior resistance to corrosion compared to other families of stainless steels.
Here are some of the commonly used 300 series stainless steels:
- Type 304: This is perhaps the most commonly used stainless steel because of its excellent corrosion resistance and value. It possesses an excellent combination of strength, corrosion resistance, and fabricability. It’s often used in kitchen equipment, architectural paneling, and piping.
- Type 304L: This is a low carbon variant of Type 304, which can be welded without the risk of carbon precipitation (also known as carbide precipitation).
- Type 316: This is the second most common stainless steel type and is often used in more harsh environments because it includes molybdenum, which improves the corrosion resistance.
- Type 316L: This is a low carbon variant of Type 316, which has similar properties but provides better weldability due to its lower carbon content.