The main difference between 304 vs 316 stainless steel is the composition and corrosion resistance, SS304 doesn't contain molybdenum while SS316 contains 2-3% molybdenum. The addition of molybdenum provides pitting resistance in phosphoric acid, acetic acid and dilute chloride solutions and provides corrosion resistance in sulfurous acid. In addition, AISI 304 has a 18% Cr and 8% Ni and therefore known as 18-8 stainless steel, while AISI 316 has a 16% Chromium and 10% Nickel.
The following table shows the difference between 304 and 316 stainless steel in composition.
304 vs 316 stainless steel properties
304 vs 316 stainless steel strength and hardness can be found in the above table.
AISI 304 vs 316 stainless steel cost: Taking steel plates as an example, the cost of 316 is about 1.5 times the cost of 304. The price of stainless steel depends on the price of the alloying element and the amount of the alloy (eg Ni, Cr and Mo). The price of molybdenum (Mo) is about twice that of nickel (Ni), six times that of chromium (Cr), 316 nickel content is higher than 304, and 316 contains molybdenum, while 304 does not contain it, so the cost of 316 is higher than 304.
Since Mo is added to SS316, Mo can improve the pitting resistance and is therefore more resistant to corrosion than SS304.
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