304 Stainless Steel Machining

Stainless Steel Alloy 304

Stainless steel alloy 304 is an extremely popular low-cost alloy, ideal for parts that require forming or welding. It has excellent corrosion, oxidation, and heat resistance and is the most weldable of any steel alloy. 304 is not magnetic.

304 has a machining cost factor of 5.0 when compared to steel 12L14. It is excellent for welding and produces tough and ductile welds. 304 does not respond to heat treatment, but can be cold worked to increase tensile strength and hardness. Annealing is recommended after forging and cold working.

Industries & Applications

  • Bolts and nuts
  • Screw
  • Instrumentation
  • Automotive components
  • Aerospace components

Stainless Steel 304 Characteristics

TEMPER

Yield Strength

Ultimate Tensile Strength

Modulus of Elasticity

Brinell Hardness (500kg/10mm)

Annealed

35

86

29,000

170

1/2 Hard

130

170

29,000

 

1/4 Hard

86

140

29,000

 

 

Stainless Steel Cost Comparison

Type General Characteristics Alloy Common Applications Tolerances for a 1/2" Dia. Bar Material Cost Factor Machining Cost Factor
Stainless Steel
Better weldability and formability, slightly more corrosion resistant
304
Applications needing formability or weldability
Cold finished
+/-.002
3.7 5.0

Common Material Cost Comparison

Type General Characteristics Alloy Common Applications Tolerances for a 1/2" Dia. Bar Material Cost Factor Machining Cost Factor
Steel
Designed for excellent machinability. Case hard only
12L14
Endless commercial products; probably more pounds used in turned products than any other bar stock
Cold drawn
0
1 1
Stainless Steel
Designed for machining, non-magnetic
303
Electronic hardware, automotive, aerospace, medical instruments, and many applications requiring corrosion resistance
Cold finished
+/- .002
1.9 2.7
Brass
Strength, corrosion and wear resistance, and excellent machinability
C35300
Well suited for parts with knurling or threading
+0015 3.5 .07
Aluminum
Designed for machining
2011
Electronic hardware, endless commercial products
Cold finish
+/-.0015
3.8 .6
Titanium
High strength, light weight, good bio-compatibility
Ti-6Al-4VEli
Medical implants
Ground & polished
+/-.002
30.2 6

To review our Machining Materials Guide, please click here.

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