When corrosion resistance is important and strength is not an issue, look to Type 304 Stainless Steel. 304 is the most versatile and widely used of all austenitic stainless steels and represents about ½ of the total U.S. stainless steel production. Austenitic Type 300 series stainless (of which 304 and 316 are the most widely used) contain chromium and nickel and can be hardened by cold working but not by heat. When annealed, they are essentially non-magnetic.
304 is often called 18-8 because its minimum chemical composition is 18% chromium and 8% nickel. 304 has more chromium and nickel than type 201, which increases its corrosion resistance, especially at higher temperatures, however, because of a lower carbon content, it is not as strong as 201. All stainless gets its corrosion resistance from the addition of chromium which forms a passive layer that is too thin to see yet impervious to water and air. If this layer is damaged mechanically or chemically, it can quickly reform, provided it has enough oxygen. In low-oxygen and poor circulation environments, the layer cannot renew itself quickly enough. If this layer is removed, the base metal will be exposed to moisture/chemicals in the atmosphere and rust will form.
304 has good resistance to oxidation, corrosion and moderately acidic or caustic solutions, performing well in a wide range of atmospheric conditions. It is often used for structural and architectural purposes. It exhibits excellent formability, ease of fabrication and responds well to all standard welding methods. 304 stainless steels can meet a wide variety of physical requirements, making it an excellent material for applications including auto molding and trim, wheel covers, kitchen equipment, hose clamps, springs, truck bodies, exhaust manifolds, storage tanks, pressure vessels and piping, electrical enclosures, stainless hardware, heat exchangers, paper processing industries, chemical plants and household appliances. It is widely used in the insulation and hose clamping industries, oil and gas pipeline insulation, sign mounting, traffic signal and utility box securement.
304 can be used in indoor and outdoor environments. This type of stainless steel can be bent, molded and manipulated into a wide variety of shapes and sizes without affecting its strength. It has amazing durability and longevity.
However, 304 stainless does not perform well in high-saline environments. Chlorides can cause pitting, crevice corrosion, and stress corrosion cracking. In these situations, 316 stainless steel is the correct choice. The molybdenum added to 316 stainless increases the corrosion resistance to chlorides (like sea water and de-icing salts).
We test all of our 304 stainless steel banding to warrant that it meets ASTM-A666 standards including, but not limited to, chemical composition requirements of carbon, manganese, phosphorus, sulfur, silicon, chromium, and nickel and the tensile and break strengths.
Unique quality control: Each coil of band is stamped with a 4 digit code every 12 inches referencing the test results and verifying its authenticity and compliance with ASTM standards as well as serving as a handy measurement point. This process is unique to ISO.
STANDARD SPECIFICATION FOR 304 ANNEALED STAINLESS STEEL (ASTM A 240 and ASTM A 666)
18.0 - 20.0
8.0 - 10.5
TENSILE PROPERTY REQUIREMENTS TENSILE STRENGTH, MIN YIELD STRENGTH, MIN ELONGATION IN 2” or 50 mm HARDNESS, MAX