301 vs. 302/304 Annealed Stainless Steel

There are a number of useful alloys for stainless steel fabrication and manufacturing applications. Some of the most common alloys include AISI Type 301 and AISI Type 302/304. Each includes varying levels of other elements including nickel, chromium and carbon. Type 302/304 stainless steel, also known as 18/8 chrome-nickel stainless steel strip, is soft and ductile in the annealed condition.  It has a high degree of ductility, excellent drawing, forming, and spinning properties. Compared to Type 301, it has a low carbon content and a higher amount of chromium and nickel. Annealed 302/304 stainless steel is used extensively in the chemical, refrigeration, paper, and food processing industries. Potential applications include bellows, flexible metal hoses, metal spinning, tube forming, and numerous other stainless applications. Because of its lower carbon content, 302/304 stainless steel is not as prone to problems after welding from carbide precipitation and resultant corrosion. Annealed 302/304 stainless steel possesses heat and corrosion resistant properties superior to Type 301.

View 302 Stainless Steel Tolerance Data View 301 Stainless Steel Tolerance Data

Properties of 301 vs. 302/304 Stainless Steel

The mechanical and physical properties of Type 301 stainless steel make it an ideal material for a multitude of applications, including both industrial and consumer products. The chemistry of this alloy permits cold working to the ideal combination of mechanical properties desired for specific applications. To illustrate: in the full hard temper, 301 stainless will maintain a minimum of 9% elongation in 2”, compared with 302 full hard at approximately 2%. This retained elongation on the part of Type 301 accounts for its great hardness, toughness, and superior fatigue life in the finished part. In addition, it possesses a high strength-to-weight ratio. Type 301 work-hardens excessively; for this reason, its general demand is typically in the harder tempers to meet the specific mechanical properties required by our customers.

Precision Steel Warehouse, Inc., offers intermediate tempers of 301 stainless steel with guaranteed tensile yield and elongation properties and 302/304 stainless to guaranteed Rockwell Hardness ranges. However, all mechanical properties are reported on Precision Steel Warehouse material certifications. 

The minimum order for PSW coil products is $400.

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