About Smiths

We are a world-class supplier of engineering raw materials. Our objective is to provide all our customers, from the small machine shop to the large multi-national corporation, a supply path that continuously delivers the highest levels of service, quality and value.

Type 304 / 304L

Stainless Steel

304 - 304L Stainless Steel

Type 304 stainless steel is an austenitic alloy containing 18% chrome and 8% nickel.

Low-Carbon Content Stainless

The alloy has a lower carbon content which minimizes chromium carbide precipitation due to welding and its susceptibility to intergranular corrosion. Weldability and forming properties of Type 304 are excellent whilst machinability is reasonable. The alloy also benefits from very good drawability. A combination of low yield strength and high elongation allows for the forming of complex shapes, although it should be noted that the material hardens rapidly. Type 304L is the low carbon version of 304, does not require post-weld annealing and so is extensively used in heavy gauge components (over about 6mm).


Type 304 stainless steel is an austenitic stainless steel alloy which contains 18% chrome and 8% nickel. Offering excellent welding and forming properties, the alloy is also reasonably machinable. The alloy finds use in a variety of commercial applications and is one of the widely used stainless steel grades.

Typical Applications

Commercial applications for this engineering material include:

  • Pharmaceutical processing equipment
  • Chemical processing equipment
  • Architectural mouldings
  • Sinks & splashbacks
  • Tubing
  • Springs, nuts, bolts & screws

We stock Type 304 & 304L in flats, round bar, plate, sheet, strip, wire, round tube, rectangular tube, square tube, hollow bar, square bar, hexagon bar, angles, channels and tee sections.

Technical Assistance

Our knowledgeable staff and resident metallurgists will be pleased to assist you further on any technical topic. Smiths Metal Centres Limited also boasts an in-house UKAS Accredited Testing Laboratory which is unique within the multi-metal and plastic stockholding sector. We believe this underlines our total commitment to quality and our ethos of being the complete service provider.

Additional Info

A technical datasheet for Type 304 & 304L is available in PDF file format. To view and download, please click here.

We offer in-house processing options - for more information, please refer to our processing services.

Read our corporate brochure by clicking here.

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