Sheet Metal Supply: Opting For Stainless Steel 304 And 316


Stainless steel is a common metal for a variety of common and not so common applications. In Minneapolis, the sheet metal supply business always retains certain types of this alloy on hand. Among the more commonly available types of stainless steel are 304 and 316. Both grades are popular in the food processing equipment industry.

Stainless Steel 304L

Grade 304L stainless steel is an alloy featuring a lower carbon level than 304 does. Both 304 and 304L are members of the austenitic family of stainless steel. This indicates they consist of three major elements:

  1. Iron
  2. Chromium (18%)
  3. Nickel (8%)

Sometimes austenitic stainless steel may also contain molybdenum and nitrogen.

Types 304 and 304L have the properties of very good drawability as well as excellent corrosion resistance. This makes them a good choice for diverse applications including:

  • Architectural
  • Chemical processing equipment
  • Dairy processing and handling equipment
  • Food and beverage product handling/processing equipment
  • Hospital equipment
  • Instrument
  • Kitchen Equipment
  • Pharmaceutical processing equipment

This alloy is a favorite by Minneapolis industrial concerns for its excellent capability for handling a variety of acids, chemicals, dyes, crude and refined oils.

Stainless Steel 316/316L

A sheet metal supply of stainless steel 316/316L is noted for several reasons. Its content of nickel is higher than that of 304 and 304L. In addition to possessing better corrosion resistance, 316/316L find favor for the following qualities:

  • Excellent mechanical properties at sub-zero temperatures
  • Good corrosion chemical and salt resistance
  • Low magnetic permeability

The result of its properties includes the following pump shafts and machinery components for such suitable applications as:

  • Aircraft applications
  • Chemical
  • Machined parts
  • Marine
  • Paper
  • Petrochemical
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Textiles

Stainless Steel Sheet Metal Supply

Stainless steel sheet metal is a common item for suppliers to stock. They know the demand is high and therefore ensure it is readily available. In stainless steel, it pays to keep at hand a stainless steel sheet metal supply of 304/304L.