We are often asked what the difference is between 304 and 18-8 grades of stainless steel. Below, we break down the specifics of each so our customers can get a better understanding of them.
18-8 Stainless Steel
The naming of a type of steel generally refers to portions of the chemical composition, in this case, chromium and nickel. 18-8 stainless steel refers to a 300 series grade of stainless steel with approximately 18% chromium and 8% nickel. It is non-magnetic in its raw form but can become magnetic as the microstructure is changed via cold-working.
304 Stainless Steel
304 Stainless steel is an austenitic steel alloy that is part of the 18-8 family. This grade is made of at least 50% iron, can have a maximum carbon composition of 0.08%, and contains approximately 18% chromium and 8% nickel. It is the most common type of austenitic stainless steel. It is often used for products in mild corrosive environments, in automotive applications, in the construction industry, and in the dyeing industry.