What Differences Between Stainless Steel AISI 316 and AISI 304?

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AISI 304 and AISI 316. Steel is an alloy of iron containing added carbon in a proportion no higher than 2,06%. In fact, over this limit, the material properties changing and it makes a different alloy called cast iron.

Stainless steel is the word used to identify the family of steels containing a minimum of Chromium (11%). This element makes the material very corrosion-resistant. The elements present in stainless steels are very sensitive to their environment. The Chromium, in particular, helps to make a thin protective layer against corrosion. This last is the principal enemy of steel and all the other metals. Indeed, the ordinary steels react to the environment forming a surface which contains ferric oxide (alias rust). Usually, the lower is the degree of stainless steel superficial roughness and the higher its resistance to corrosive agents.

How does stainless steel AISI 316 differ from AISI 304?

The main difference between the two steels is that the AISI 316 contains Molybdenum unlike the AISI 304.

There are commercially reagents which make it possible to distinguish between these steels. Indeed, if the latter (for the AISI 316 when the Molybdenum is less than 2% that the minimum acceptable) are applied on the surface studies, they will produce a brown-color.

Why use the stainless steel? 

There are many reasons why to use the stainless steel.

  • It’s very easy to polish because the roughness is reduced
  • It’s highly hygienic thus it is suitable for the food industrial processing
  • It has a high resistance to corrosion
  • It does not alter the color, the taste and the smell of everything it contains (as in the case of other materials)
  • It’s easy to work and to mould by cold-working or by mechanical working
  • It can withstand very high temperatures and also at low temperatures
  • It has the best price/quality ratio thanks to its long-lasting
  • Its maintenance costs are equal to zero because it’s very resistant and itself is not altered by any agent.


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