50 grades of stainless steel

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.



304Cu (302HQ) 1.4567 S30430

304Cu is based on the familiar grade 304 with a significant addition of copper. This reduces the work hardening of the steel to allow operations such as cold heading, thread rolling and improved machining.

Approximate Composition – 18% Cr, 9%Ni, 3.5% Cu, 0.03% C(Exact composition ranges vary between EN and ASTM standards).

This grade combines the following characteristics:

  • Good corrosion resistance similar to 304. Better than 304 in sulphuric acid due to copper addition
  • Reduced work hardening allowing cold heading and thread rolling
  • Resistance to becoming magnetic during cold working
  • Easier machining than 304 due to lower work hardening. Approximately 25% improvement

304Cu is one of several grades that falls into the fastener grade A2. A2 is often thought of as equivalent to 304. However A2 has a maximum Cu of 4% which allows 304Cu to be included. 

Applications which illustrate these features include:

Fasteners, intricate machined components, automotive industry, electronics, chemical processing, food and drink, double glazing pins, water meter disc spindles.

Find out more about the 50 Grades of Stainless Steel campaign

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