- Stainless Grade 201/304
Stainless Grade 201/304
Grade 201/304 – A difference of nickel…
In order to understand the distinction between these two grades of stainless steel, it is helpful to know why 201 became popular in the first place. At one point, the price and availability of nickel became prohibitive to the production of grade 304. This created an opening in the market for an alloy that used less nickel and thus would not be subject to price increases as easily.
201 uses a combination of chromium, nickel, and manganese that reduces the amount of nickel necessary for production, thus making it less expensive in general than the 304 alloy.
How does the decrease in nickel affect the steel?
Grade 201 is strong but not quite corrosion-resistant as 304 limiting its practicality in harsh environments.
Applications for both
Due to the differences and similarities between the two grades, some of the uses overlap. Both can be found in automobiles, architecture, railways, and even appliances. However, grade 201 is used more often in food preparation industries, including cooking utensils, sinks, dishwasher components, and other restaurant equipment.
Grade 304 can be used in these applications but is also resistant enough to corrosion to be used in marine environments where it will be exposed to corrosive seawater and salt air.
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