AISI 304 | AISI 304L
In the American system AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute) the following steels are known under the numbers 304 and 304L:
1.4301 – X5CrNI18-10 (AISI 304)
1.4307 – X2CrNiMo13-4 (AISI 304L)
1.4306 – X2CrNi19-11 (AISI 304L)
The stainless steel alloys AISI 304 and AISI 304L are the best known and most widely used chromium-nickel steels. Their excellent corrosion resistance, high strength and low carbon content make these austenitic steels particularly suitable for applications requiring welding.
The stainless steel 304 is the standard material of austenitic chromium-nickel steels. In the solution-annealed state, there is no risk of intercrystalline corrosion in the material 304. However, when welded and at high temperatures, AISI 304 is not save of intercrystalline corrosion. After cold forming it is slightly magnetic. The 304 stainless steel is used in household goods, wine and food processing and nitrogen chemistry applications. The widespread use is the combination of many, very favorable properties. Thus, the steel 304 in the annealed state can exhibit good deformability in terms of pressing, deep drawing and bending.
Due to the lower carbon content, the 304L material is easier to machine and weld well. After welding, no heat treatment is necessary, but the heat input during welding influences the corrosion resistance. The lower carbon content of this V2A steel causes the solidification tendency to be lowered. When quenched, AISI 304L can be easily magnetized. The magnetizability increases with increasing cold deformation. It is used in mechanical engineering, in the food and chemical industries.
AISI 304L is a higher alloy version of 1.4307. Due to the slightly increased chromium and nickel content, this material is more corrosion resistant than 1.4307. The weldability is given by all electrical methods, which should be dispensed with a gas welding. Often, material 1.4306 is used in the construction of plants that produce nitric acid and other aggressive acids.
Chemical composition AISI 304 | AISI 304L
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