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How to Distinguish Steel 201 and 304?

There are several stainless steel families with different physical properties. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, stainless steel can be numeric and represented numerically like 200 series, 300 series, 400 series, where both 201 and 304 are commonly used steels which have good corrosion resistant properties, and good machining and polishing performance. As we all know, they can be considered as substitutes for each other in several applications. So what’s the difference?

1. Different chemical composition
Chemical Composition is the key to studying and determining the physical properties of 201 and 304

2. Price is different
304 is more expensive than 201 because of the addition of nickel, which also leads to better corrosion resistance than 201.

3. Different appearance
304 tubes and sheets offer better brightness and do not rust easily. 201 contains more high manganese content with dark, easy to rust surface.

4. Different toughness
201 stainless steel material is relatively harder than stainless steel 304, which is more resilient, fatigue resistant much better than 201.

5. Different applications
Steel 201 can be used as a substitute for steel 304 because it is economical. It has a magnetic process after it is cold and is used in the field of quality railroad vehicles or building decoration with less stringent requirements. And 304 is the most widely used heat-resistant steel, mainly used in food production equipment, chemical equipment, nuclear energy and so on.

How do you differentiate 201 and 304?
1. Spark identification method. The amount, shape, bifurcation, and color of sparks produced by the oxidation of various elements under the conditions of grinding iron and steel with high speed friction and high temperature will differ due to different types of steel. This method is used to identify the chemical composition (constituent elements) and the estimated ingredients. Use a grinding machine with a grinding wheel to gently polish 304 and 304 stainless steel, splash 201 longer, thicker, more, and tail forks, while 304 stainless steel spark shorter, thinner, less, and tail forks. Pay attention to grinding to ensure that the testing method is consistent to facilitate differences.

2. Identify stainless steel test solutions. Also known as stainless steel pickling herbs, these herbs and stainless steel surface chemical reactions and produce different colors, can clearly determine the stainless steel coating model of stainless steel. Apply stainless steel preservative cream to 201 and 304 types of stainless steel tubes respectively and observe the color change of the steel tubes after 2 minutes. The red color is 201 material and light green or colorless is 304 material.

When stainless steel is chosen because of its resistance to corrosion, it is important to choose the right grade to meet the environment and applications

Why is Stainless Steel 304 better than the others?
The reason is because the shape and the final results in the workmanship of stainless steel 304 seem to be much better and neater than other stainless. This is because stainless steel 304 has the characteristics of an easy form when welded.
Therefore, it is important for you before making stainless steel products or buy stainless products, make sure it is made of stainless 304. Stainless 304 material is often used by large companies in the country, for example for food pan, grease trap, steamer, gas oven burner and others .

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