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Type 304 vs. type 202 stainless steel

October 7, 2008

Q. I purchase housewares for a US retailer, a foreign manufacturer has told me that 202 grade SS is also approved for the food industry. I have not been able to verify this with the FDA. Other than the low Ni content of 202 SS, how different is it from SS 304? Are there any known implications or reactions in the human body? Any references would also be greatly appreciated.
Thank you

Ann Nurouz
Buyer - New York, New York

November 13, 2008

A. The major differences between 202 and 304 stainless steels are in the nickel and chromium contents. 202 has 16-18% chromium and 0.5-4.0% nickel, whilst 304 has 18-20% chromium and 8-10.5% nickel. There are other minor differences in the amount of carbon (0.08% in 304 and 0.12% in 202), manganese (2% in 304 and 5.5-7.5% in 202), as well as slight differences in the silicon, phosphorus and molybdenum contents. Both are austenitic steels and are essentially non-magnetic, but will become temporarily magnetic by working them. The manganese helps preserve the austenitic phase in the steels, as does the nickel. I can see an attraction in some people for using the 202 steel as it contains less nickel, and there is concern amongst some folk that they are sensitive to nickel. However. as far as I am aware, nickel containing stainless steels have not been shown to cause nickel sensitivity - however, I am willing to be shown to be wrong here.

Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK


December 6, 2008

Q. Can we use magnetic steel for kitchen utensils (is it hygienic and non-rusting)?
And what's the best choice of ss types, and cheapest also to make stainless steel kitchen utensils like basins, mugs, milk pots, etc.
Thank you, and awaiting your kind reply

Dr. Abbas Sholgami
holloware factory - UAE


December 14, 2008

A. You can use magnetic stainless steels if you want to, but the most usual stainless steels are 304 and 316 grades

Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK


December 16, 2008

A. True, but knives are usually some variant of 400 SS which is magnetic. So, what is a utensil?

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

misc. plating stuff
For Sale cheap



October 2, 2009

Q. CAN WE USE STAINLESS STEEL KITCHEN UTENSILS LIKE DEEP AND FLAT BASINS, TRAYS, BOWLS USING STAINLESS STEEL GRADE SS410? HOW HYGIENIC IS IT AND WHICH IS MORE EASY TO PRESS (WHICH IS SOFTER) SS410 OR SS304?
ALSO HOW TO POLISH MANUALLY SS410 SURFACE BA?

THANK YOU

Dr.Abbas Sholgami
holloware factory - SUDAN


September 27, 2012

Hi Dr. Abbas. 4xx stainless steels are less expensive than type 304 because they contain no nickel. They are somewhat less corrosion resistant and more prone to rusting, but they are sometimes used for kitchen utensils. Type 304 work hardens, so it is probably hard to press complicated shapes; I don't know about type 410

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


September 27, 2012

Q. How to recognize between 304 and 202, what is the method?

ajaz peerzade
engineering - nasik,maharashtra,india


September 27, 2012

Hi, Ajaz. X-ray fluorescence is fast and non-destructive, but the instruments are quite costly ($25,000+ USD)

There may be spark tests or chemical spot tests, but I'm not familiar with them, sorry.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


October 2, 2012

Q. Is 202 grade SS as easy to weld as 304? Or is 202 is similar in weldability to 430?

Thank you

Phillip Dakhnovets
- Athens, Ohio, USA


August 12, 2013

Q. Is there any method to physically identify the difference between the SS304 & SS202, or any equipment available in market?

Abhilash Parakkalakath
- Kochi, Kerala, India


August 14, 2013

A. Hi Abhilash. Your question appears to be identical to Ajaz Peerzade's. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


October 5, 2013 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. how can I detect ss 304 and ss 202 jars using simple methods?

ANAND P
- INDIA

October 5, 2013 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Can I use ss202 in my city for stair railing? Is it good?

Surendra Taparia
- Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India


October 9, 2013

Q. What is the difference between 202 and 304 finish in terms of quality and durability?

Shabbir Sajjadhusain
Building Hardware Materials - Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka



Is 202 stainless non-magnetic?

January 13, 2014

Q. Hi

I work with NMR instrument which has a ultra shielded superconducting magnet (9.4T) as one part of the instrumentation, other being electronic console. We typically need to climb few wooden steps to reach top of the cylinder which houses the magnet. I want to install railings on both side of these wooden steps to prevent falling from the steps. Is it OK to use SS 202 as material of construction for the railing? I want non-magnetic SS which will not get attracted to the magnet.

Thanks for your help.

Vivek K
- India

January 14, 2014

A. Hi Vivek. This sounds to me like an application where true and complete freedom from magnetism is essential. Is there a good reason you can't use aluminum railings?

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey



February 5, 2014

Q. If SS304 is used instead of SS202 in stair railing in a residential building, is there any extra benefit in terms of look and durability?

Ikbal Ahmed Choudhury
Civil Engineer - Karimganj, Assam, India


March 27, 2014

A. For an interior handrail, I'd consider 304 and 202 to be pretty identical, because I'm thinking of corrosion resistance in that application (both acceptable) and strength (again, both acceptable). I'm not sufficiently familiar with the formability of 202 to know if it's good, but I'd bet that would be reflected in the price. If the price was right, I'd go with the 202.

Good luck!

Lee Gearhart
metallurgist
East Aurora, New York

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