About Machining 304 stainless steel

Machining 304 Stainless Steel

From this article, you could learn all about machining 304 stainless steel, including the material properties, advantages, application, and tips for stainless steel CNC machining parts.

About Stainless steel Machining

304 stainless steel advantages

The 304 grade of stainless steel, also known as A2 stainless steel, contains 18% to 20 % chromium and 8% to 10% nickel. Type 304 is the most versatile and widely used stainless steel in the manufacturing of customized machining components. Stainless steel provides various advantages in the application of industrial machining , including but not limited to the below:

  • Corrosion Resistance.Stainless steel 304 is known for its excellent corrosion resistance in a wide variety of atmospheric environments and when in contact with different corrosive media. Pitting and crevice corrosion can occur in chlorine-containing environments like coast and environment where warm temperatures is above 60 ℃ . This means that 304 steel does not only rust in high temperatures, but also in aqueous solutions where continuous contact with corrosive materials.
Pitting and crevice corrosion
Pitting and crevice corrosion
  •   Strength 304 Stainless steel machining is popular among machinists due to its excellent strength-to-weight ratio,  allowing components in various applications to be machined from thinner materials.  Since 304 type stainless steel can withstand extremely high temperatures up to 800℃, its strength can be further enhanced by cold hardening and heat curing processes to suit the intended application.Any way continuous use of 304 between 425-860⁰C is not recommended
  •  Highly Versatile and Flexible. 304 stainless steel can be formed, welded, cut, and machined as easily as traditional steels due to its flexibility. It is one of the austenitic stainless steels that is considered as the most formable and versatile variation while other metallurgical structures tend to be brittle.
  • Low Maintenance and Durable. 304 Steel can also withstand harsh environments and temperature. So it requires a low level of maintenance and therefore becomes a an ideal option for many industrial machining applications. These combined properties result in a longer life cycle at a cost-efficient price when measured against other metals.
  • Aesthetic Appeal. 304 Stainless steel is available in many surface finishes, creating an attractive and modern appearance to complement any kitchen, home design, and theme.

304 Stainless Application

304 stainless steel is fine for most applications, especially household and industrial applications

Common uses for 304 stainless steel:

  •   Storange Tank
  •   Industrial fasteners and finishing hardware (screws, nuts, bolts, plates, handles, machinery parts)
  •   Household food handling and processing equipment, such s Pots and pans
  •   Indoor architectural/decorative hardware exterior accents such as water and fire features
  •   Equipment tubing
  •   Residential appliances(Residential sinks and sink parts)

Machining stainless steel 304

Whether machining 304 , you need to use substantial machines. Small lathes and milling machines cannot cut these strong grades of stainless steel. If you don’t want your machines subject to excessive vibration, you can use cemented carbide tools or high-speed steel (HSS) tools .

When machining 304 stainless steel, you should machine it at slower speeds. What makes the machining complicate is the fact that 304 steel work hardens after machining(All 300 series stainless steels have the same issue). When you’re machining 304, use deep cuts at a high feed rate to minimize work hardening.

An intermediate annealing maybe required to alleviate work hardening and avoid tearing or cracking. At the completion of fabrication a full annealing operation should be employed to reduce internal stresses and optimise corrosion resistance.

Type 304 steel have low thermal conductivity. Make sure that the work surface won’t get overheat. Overheating can cause part distortion that is difficult to correct. Use lubricating oil to reduce tool wear. use Either mineral oils or water-soluble emulsifiable oils is suitable. The latter is recommended if you’re working at high speed with carbide tooling.

Trust  HS Mold team to provide first-rate stainless steel machining parts. With a keen eye for quality, we’ll machine your meal products to the specifications you desire to ensure the utmost satisfaction. Ready to get started? Reach out to a representative today!

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