304/304L Stainless Steel

ASTM A240/A480

Type 304 stainless steel is the most common austenitic chromium-nickel stainless steel and is a variation of the classic 18-8 stainless. Its properties provide corrosion resistance to a wide range of atmospheric, chemical, textile, petroleum, and food industry exposures.

Type 304L is an extra low-carbon variation of Type 304. This helps in eliminating carbide precipitation due to welding.

Stainless is created by extracting chromite from underground mines. The chromite is crushed to produce a chromite concentrate. The chromite concentrate is melted in an electric furnace with other raw materials (iron ore, manganese, nickel, etc.) use for the specific stainless type.

After melting the material is formed into slabs and sent to a hot rolling mill. The rolling mill reduces the thickness of the steel and is cooled by water. The now coil is transferred to a cold rolling mill.

When the material arrives at the cold rolling mill it is covered in black scale. It is sent through an annealing and pickling line to remove the scale.

To find out which of our locations process and stock 304 stainless steel download our line cards.

Stainless Steel Supplier Metal West

Metalwest Standard Sizes

7 gauge – 26 gauge
36″, 48″, 60″

*Additional sizes & grades available upon request. Some products and services may vary by location.

Typical uses for Type 304 Stainless Steel

Architectural trim, kitchen equipment, appliances, chemical equipment, clamps, cryogenic components, dairy equipment, evaporators, food handling equipment, hinges, marine, oil well filter screens, pressure vessels, sanitary fittings, shipping drums, textile dyeing equipment, and welded components of chemical, textile, paper, pharmaceutical and chemical industry processing equipment.

Typical uses for Type 304L Stainless Steel

Type 304L is used primarily in welding applications due to the low carbon content which reduces the carbide precipitation.


Type 304 can be easily formed into most shapes.

Magnetic Properties

Is generally non-magnetic and becomes slightly magnetic when cold-worked.