Typical uses for type 304 stainless steel include the construction of food processing equipment, kitchen benches and sinks, architectural panelling, chemical containers, and welded screens for mining and water filtration. The world-famous Gateway Arch in St. Louis is clad in type 304 stainless steel.
There are several different grades of type 304 stainless steel, including standard 304, 304L and 304H. 304L is a low-carbon grade of this particular type of steel, and 304H is a high-carbon grade suitable for use in high temperature applications and environments. Type 304L stainless steel offers greater resistance to carbide precipitation than higher-carbon varieties.
Examples of food processing equipment that make extensive use of type 304 stainless steel include various appliances in the beer brewing, milk processing and wine making industries. One grade of this particular type of stainless steel features good resistance to oxidation up to temperatures of 925 degrees Celsius. Other grades trade oxidation resistance for greater strength at higher temperatures.
Type 304 stainless steal offers metallurgists and manufacturers easy welding options through all of the most common fusion methods, including fusion without filler metals. A particular grade of type 304 stainless steel, called Ugima stainless steel, offers higher quality machining with lower tool wear from most operations.