50 grades of stainless steel
BSSA

The BSSA has selected 50 Grades of Stainless Steel as its theme for 2014. Each week throughout the year, we will showcase one grade and illustrate the variety of corrosion resistant, mechanical and physical properties which determine its suitability for a wide range of applications.

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304/304L 1.4301/1.4307 S30400/S30403

domestic sink

Domestic sink

Food and drink processing

Food and drink processing

For 2014, the BSSA has selected 50 grades to illustrate the many useful properties of stainless steel. The basis for the selection is the frequency with which a grade appears in the Stainless Steel Advisory Services Enquiry Database.

What should the first grade be? Not surprisingly, 304 (1.4301) and its variants are the most common grades in the SSAS database. This reflects the market as a whole.

Approximate Composition – 18% Cr 8% Ni (exact composition ranges vary between EN and ASTM standards).

This grade combines the following characteristics:

  • Good corrosion resistance
  • Good weldability
  • Excellent ductility giving stretch formability in pressings
  • Hygienic surfaces
  • Work hardening for spring properties
  • Ease of manufacture at the steel mill

This combination of properties leads to the grade being used for a wide range of applications including:

Sinks, pots and pans, catering surfaces, architectural cladding, handrails, food processing, water treatment, pressure vessels, transport containers, surgical instruments, building support products, refrigeration equipment, watch cases, automotive trim, street furniture, anaerobic digestion, chemical plant, sanitaryware.

This is merely a sample of the applications for 304/304L (1.4301/1.4307). Despite the competition from grades with a similar corrosion resistance, this grade is likely to continue to form the backbone of the stainless steel market for some years to come.

Find out more about the 50 Grades of Stainless Steel campaign
 

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British Stainless Steel Association (BSSA): registered in England and Wales as a private company limited by guarantee; registration no. 07547349