Okolona, Kentucky
1250 Old Fern Valley Rd.
Louisville, KY 40219
(502) 634-4321

Differences Between 304 & 316 Stainless Steel March 22, 2018

Okolona, Central Jefferson
Differences Between 304 & 316 Stainless Steel, Central Jefferson, Kentucky

To complete quality work, you need quality supplies. This includes everything from the tools you use to the grade of stainless steel you purchase. Not all steel is equal. Below is a guide to the 304 and 316 grades and how they differ. 

Material Makeup 

316 steel contains larger amounts of nickel than 304, and also has small amounts of molybdenum. 304 has slightly more chromium, though the difference in this is negligible. Both grades can be used for the same mechanical purposes.

This disparity is important because it impacts the material’s durability. With the added nickel, 316 holds up better against rust, making it a preferable choice for any fixtures that will be outside and frequently exposed to moisture or road salt. This is especially crucial for electrical components that may become compromised if their stainless steel casings rust and begin to corrode. 

The Cost of Materials

stainless steelBecause of the added nickel in 316 steel, it’s typically more expensive. To determine if the investment is worth it, look at your project. If fixtures will be outdoors and need increased durability to prolong their lifespan and avoid damage, this approach may be economically beneficial. On the other hand, if the metal will stay protected from chemicals and environmental factors during its lifespan, then there’s no reason to pay more when 304 steel will work just as well.


For the best quality stainless steel, aluminum sheets, and metal processing around Louisville or Cincinnati, get in touch with American Metal Supply. Over this company’s 32 years in business, they’ve worked hard to supply high-quality materials to their commercial clients. To get in touch, call their Louisville office at (502)634-4321 or their Cincinnati office at (513)396-6600. Learn more about their work by liking their Facebook page or visiting their newly updated website today.

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