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ASTM A240 vs 304 Stainless Steel – What’s the Difference

ASTM A240 vs 304 Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is one of the most commonly used materials in various industries. It is known for its durability, strength, and resistance to corrosion, making it suitable for various applications. One of the most crucial factors when choosing stainless steel is the grade. There are several grades of stainless steel, such as ASTM A240 and 304. This blog post explores the differences between these two stainless steel grades and which suits your project.

Differences Between ASTM A240 and 304 Stainless Steel

Chemical Composition

One of the most important differences between ASTM A240 vs 304 stainless steel is the chemical composition. ASTM A240 is an American standard for stainless steel that includes chromium and chromium-nickel, while 304 is a British standard that includes chromium, chromium-nickel, and manganese. The two standards are not identical, but they are very similar.

Physical Properties

The physical properties of ASTM A240 vs 304 stainless steel are also very similar. Both types of steel are non-magnetic, have high corrosion resistance, and are easy to weld and machine. The main difference in physical properties is that 304 stainless steel is slightly harder than ASTM A240 stainless steel.


Another important difference to consider when choosing between ASTM A240 vs 304 stainless steel is the cost. 304 stainless steel is typically more expensive than ASTM A240 stainless steel because it contains more nickel and chromium. However, the price difference is not always significant, so comparing prices from multiple suppliers before making a purchase is important.


ASTM A240 stainless steel is typically used in applications where corrosion resistance, such as food processing or medical equipment, is a key concern. 304 stainless steel is also often used in architectural applications, such as kitchen backsplashes or handrails.


ASTM A240 stainless steel is widely available from many different suppliers. 304 stainless steel is also widely available but may be difficult to find in some sizes or grades.


Choosing the right grade of stainless steel is crucial to the success of your project. ASTM A240 and 304 are excellent materials but differ in composition, appearance, and cost. Understanding these differences allows you to choose the right material for your project and achieve the desired results. Whether you need material for pressure vessels, decorative applications, or general use, consult your supplier or engineer to ensure you make the right choice.

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