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  • Wisconsin Metal Tech
  • 2161 Highway 175
  • Richfield, WI 53076
  • Fax: 262-628-9436
  • Toll Free: 888-628-6200

Experts at Stainless Steel Supply, Machining and Finishing

No one knows stainless steel better than Wisconsin Metal Tech. We can supply a wide range of stainless grades for your application, then provide expert, precise CNC machining and finishing. The majority of Wisconsin Metal Tech’s business is focused on stainless steel applications, so you’ll get proven machining expertise and efficiency for this challenging metal.

Type 304

Type 304 stainless steel is basically the same as Type 302 except for a higher chromium and lower carbon content. Its lower carbon minimizes chromium carbide precipitation due to welding and its susceptibility to intergranular corrosion. In many instances, Type 304 can be used in the "as welded" condition while Type 302 must be annealed in order to retain adequate corrosion resistance.

Type 304 has the same excellent combination of strength, corrosion resistance and workability as Type 302, and it costs the same. Consequently this type is widely used and is more popular than type 302.

Type 304L

Type 304L is an extra low carbon variation of Type 302. The .03% maximum carbon content eliminates carbide precipitation due to welding. Consequently, the alloy can be used in the "as welded" condition even in severe corrosive conditions. In many cases it eliminates the necessity of annealing weldments except for applications where stress relief is specified. Type 304L has slightly lower mechanical properties than Type 304.

Available Forms

Types 304 and 304L stainless steel are available in:

  • Bar
  • Wire
  • Sheet
  • Strip
  • Billets


The following specifications are generally applicable:

  • Sheets and Plates
  • MIL-S-5059
  • AMS 5513
  • ASTM A 167
  • ASTM A 240
  • Bars, Wire and Billets
  • MIL-S-7720
  • QQ-S-763
  • AMS 5639
  • ASTM A 276
  • ASTM A 479
304 and 304L table

Typical Applications

  • Low carbon Content of 304 and 304L is more conducive to welding than type 302
  • Applications include architectural mouldings and trim and kitchen equipment
  • Alloys are widely used for welded components of processing equipment for textile


When machined, Types 304 and 304L will work-harden. Therefore tools must not ride or glaze the surface without cutting. Heavy feeds and slow speeds are recommended


Both these stainless steels are readily welded by most welding processes such as TIG, MIG and resistance welding. However, all arc welding not using a shielded gas should have the filler rods coated. Type 308 and 308L welding rods are suggested for best results.


Types 304 and 304L have very good drawability. Their combination of low yield strength and high elongation permits successful forming complex shapes. However, these grades work harden rapidly. To relieve stresses produced in severe forming spinning, parts should be full annealed or stress-relief annealed as soon as possible after forming.

Corrosion Resistance

Like Type 302, Types 304 and 304L stainless steel have excellent resistance to a wide range of corrosive media and to atmospheric exposures. The low carbon content of Type 304 and especially 304L, by reducing or eliminating carbide precipitation due to welding, makes these types of stainless suitable for a much wider range of corrosive service than Type 302.