ThePipingMart Blog Metals 2205 Stainless Steel vs. 304 – What’s the Difference

2205 Stainless Steel vs. 304 – What’s the Difference

Stainless Steel Grades: 2205 vs. 304

When it comes to choosing the right type of stainless steel for your project, there are many different types available. Two of the most common types are 2205 and 304. Both serve similar purposes but are used in different applications. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between these two grades of stainless steel.

What is 2205 Stainless Steel?

2205 stainless steel is a ferritic-austenitic grade composed of 22% chromium, 5% nickel, and 3-4% molybdenum. It has excellent corrosion resistance in both freshwater and brackish water environments, making it an ideal choice for marine applications such as boat fittings and anchors. Additionally, because it can be cold worked without becoming brittle, it is often used for outdoor structures that need to withstand harsh weather conditions, such as bridges or tanks.

What is 304 Stainless Steel?

304 stainless steel is an austenitic grade composed of 18-20% chromium, 8-10% nickel and 0-2% molybdenum. It is one of the most commonly used grades for kitchen appliances due to its excellent heat resistance and corrosion resistance properties. It can also be used for outdoor applications since it has a high level of oxidation resistance which makes it resistant to rusting when exposed to moisture over time.

Difference Between Stainless Steel Grades: 2205 and 304

When comparing these two grades of stainless steel, there are several key differences that should be noted. The first is that while both grades have excellent corrosion resistance properties, 2205 has better performance in saltwater environments due to its higher chromium content (22%). Additionally, while both grades may be used in outdoor applications, 304 is more resistant to oxidation than 2205 due to its lower nickel content (8%), making it more suitable for long-term use outdoors in harsher climates or with more exposure to moisture over time. Lastly, while they are both versatile materials that can be cold-worked when needed, 2205 has superior toughness compared to 304 due to its higher molybdenum content (3-4%).

Chemical Composition

One of the major differences between 2205 and 304 stainless steel is the composition. 2205 stainless steel contains 22% chromium, 3% molybdenum, and 5-6% nickel. 304 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel. As a result of the increased chromium and nickel content, 2205 stainless steel is more corrosion-resistant than 304 stainless steel.

Tensile Strength

Another difference between 2205 and 304 stainless steel is the tensile strength. 2205 stainless steel has a higher tensile strength than 304 stainless steel, which means it can be more easily formed and welded. The increased tensile strength also makes 2205 stainless steel more resistant to stress cracking.

Temperature Resistance

2205 stainless steel also has a higher temperature resistance than 304 stainless steel. The increased chromium and molybdenum content in 2205 stainless steel makes it more resistant to high temperatures. As a result, 2205 stainless steel is often used in applications that require high-temperature resistance, such as heat exchangers and boilers.


One of the drawbacks of 2205 stainless steel is that it is more expensive than 304 stainless steel. The increased chromium, molybdenum, and nickel content make 2205 stainless steel more costly to produce. As a result, products made with 2205 stainless steel are often more expensive than those made with 304 stainless steel.


Another drawback of 2205 stainless steel is that it is not as widely available as 304 stainless steel. Because it is less common, it can be difficult to find products made with 2205 stainless steel. This may limit your options if you are looking for a specific product made with this type of Stainless Steel.


When deciding which grade of stainless steel will best suit your needs, there are several factors you should consider, including corrosion resistance requirements, environmental exposure levels and mechanical requirements such as strength or ductility. In general, terms, though, if you need excellent corrosion resistance in a saltwater environment, then 2205 would be the better choice, whereas if you need good heat resistance with better oxidation/rusting performance, then 304 would be the preferred option. Ultimately though, every application will require its own unique blend of features, so make sure you research thoroughly before making your final decision!

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