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topic 50226p2

Type 304 vs. type 202 stainless steel

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A discussion started in 2008 but continuing through 2020

August 28, 2014

Q. We need to know which grade of steel can be used in a machine for washing bottles. The inner tanks are SS-304, but outer body can be of MS/SS. As SS-304 makes it 1.5 times costlier, what can be other second best option.


Shilpa Bajpai
dairy farming - Gurgaon, Haryana, India

September 20, 2014

Q. Sir
Which grade (202 or 304) is better, economical, lasting to use for window grills?

- calicut, Kerala, India

October 29, 2014

A. Hello friends ...

I am working last 5 years in stainless steel fabrication.
Just I want to say that 304 and 316 grade is best of all ... for furniture, railing, etc.

50226-1a  50226-1b

But don't forget about gauge (thickness) -- 16 gauge is better.

pravin joshi
classic steel - Ahmedabad , Gujarat , india

November 29, 2014

A. S/S 304 type is better economically although it's quality is in the middle of 316 and 202, the cost also lies between the prices of 316 and 202.

Basically, S/S 202 is more prone to corrosion when exposed to water and acid solutions. The longevity of S/S 304 is longer than that of 202 although both will corrode over time. But still there are ways to prevent S/S from rusting such as grinding sand paper and buffing.

Jay Alimento
- Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippies

affil. link
"Stainless Steels: An Introduction and Their Recent Developments"

from Abe Books

January 2, 2015

A. In all of these stainless steels, Cr is trying to form ferrite while the austenitising elements, Ni, N, Mn and Cu, are trying to form austenite. The higher the Cr content, the more austenitising elements are needed to change all the ferrite to austenite. J4 is a good example -- in order to get the Ni level down to 1% Ni, and so minimize the price, it has been necessary to reduce the Cr content to 15-16%. This is much lower than the 18.0 - 20.0% Cr specified for grade 304 and it is Cr which makes the greatest contribution towards corrosion resistance.

This means that such 200-series grades have lower corrosion resistance and are suitable for a much narrower range of applications than grade 304. This has not been well understood and there are many instances where 200-series grades have failed due to corrosion, such as when they have been used for components like handrails in exterior applications.

Ammit Gulati
- India. vizag

July 14, 2015

Q. Can you guide whether we should use 304 or 202 for bolts and nuts used for a VCB structure being used in outdoor application.

Md azam Khan
- Bhopal , India

July 2015

A. Hi Md Azam. Sorry I don't know what a "VCB structure" is. Google suggests that you might be talking about a "vacuum circuit breaker" or a "visitor & convention bureau" :-(

While we await your clarification, most readers seemed to feel that 304 is a more expensive and corrosion resistant grade.


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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

December 9, 2014

Q. Can anyone help with the recommendation of steel type and grade for modular steel kitchen? Is there any recommended source from bangalore/india?

chandra, Raj
- bangalore, KA, India

Ed. note: Hi Raj. We hope readers help you with the type and grade! But sorry, the forum is for technical info only; we don't post sourcing info or brand preferences (why?).

June 4, 2015

A. Hi Raj, Modular kitchen are available in MS Steel & Stainless Steel, either 202 or 304 grade. For Bangalore weather conditions 202 grade of SS is more than sufficient; however, there is no debate in the fact that SS 304 is better.

Abhishek Kashikar
Steel & SS Modular Kitchen dealer - Bangalore, India

January 31, 2015

Q. Why SS 304 grade steel food grade is more costly than others?

Deepa Jayant Miringkar
Govt Servant - ponda goa India

February 2015

A. Hi Deepa. The short answer is that type 304 contains 8% nickel which is much more expensive than iron, so it will cost more than nickel-free or low-nickel stainless steels while being more corrosion resistant.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

May 11, 2015

Q. For modular kitchen in indoor use please compare the life of SS 202 & SS 304. Regards,

- delhi, India

A. Hi Singh. My reading of the above responses is that 304 is somewhat more expensive because of its nickel content, and somewhat superior in corrosion resistance. Abhishek Kashikar, a modular kitchen dealer, stated fairly strongly his opinion that 202 is good enough but clearly not as good as 304. I doubt that anyone will be able to offer more quantitative data comparing their life in modular kitchens, but we'll see what if anything is offered in response to your question.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

SS 202 or CR Sheet? Which should I use for making my wax candle jars?

February 23, 2015

Q. I have to make a metal jar for wax candles. My prime concern is that it should not rust for a very long time, i.e., 4 to 5 years. Please suggest what are my options--
Can I make it in CR sheet and apply a good quality of melamine or lacquer?
Can I make it in SS 202 Grade and should I apply any melamine or lacquer also?
Please suggest.

Raj Rana
Raj Industry - Delhi INDIA

February 2015

A. Hi Raj. Assuming that these are for indoor use, SS 202 sounds fine. CR has no corrosion resistance so you would need proper pretreatment followed by a paint or coating that would not be damaged by the heat.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

September 1, 2015

Q. Sir I have SS pipe, size is 1" x 1" square. Sir it attracts the magnet with full force. Please guide if that one is 202 or what grade it can be of ??

Amit gupta
steel - Moga, punjab, India

September 2015

A. Hi Amit. If stainless steel is strongly magnetic, it's not austenitic stainless steel (202, 304, 316, 347) unless it has been so strongly cold-worked that it lost much of its austenitic structure. That's all the information that can be gleened from a single binary digit of information like magnetic vs. non-magnetic. Sorry, you need more data; you absolutely cannot tell what grade of stainless steel you have from this one single quality.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

September 9, 2015

Q. Hi all,
I'm new to the SS market; I am planning to go for trading of major types in Himachal Pradesh, planning for railing, pipe and accessories. Anyone guide me which types I can stock more?
Best regards,

rajan verma
Proprietor - hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh, India

May 10, 2016

Q. I want to make steel rack and tray for cooling of bread.
Please tell me whether I should use steel 202 or 304.

Abdul khalik
Food Product - Thane maharastra-INDIA

May 2016

A. Hi Abdul. I'm confident that there are educational/trade organizations in India which serve the baking industry and can warn you about sanitary codes, food & drug manufacturing rules, etc. Lacking such info, type 316SS is the only construction material which I would have confidence in as being fully approved. Although even 4xx grades are used by major suppliers of flatware these days

I would specifically not go into a cost-cutting program from 304 to 202 in the food industry. Just a personal opinion from someone on a different continent :-)

Readers: a great way to learn is to try to teach. You'll learn far more, far quicker, by attempting to answer an open question here than by adding yours to the list :-)

Good luck and Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

February 21, 2017

Q. Hi, have read the whole thread above and understand that 304 is more resistant to corrosion than 202 and more expensive due to nickel content. I'm specifically looking at products like steel lunch boxes and bottles. Would 202 be sufficient for all practical purposes? Also what about 4xx steel? I'm thinking of 4xx to use the magnetic properties - but any concerns in using it for food? Thanks so much!

Sirisha Gi
- Mumbai, India

February 22, 2017

Q. Is ss 202 good for food grade?
There is any chemical reactions when we use it??
Or SS304? Which is best for food grade?
Please suggest?

v rama krishna
- Tenali, Andhra Pradesh, India

February 2017

A. Hi cousins. I just finished answering that question to the best of my ability as someone from the metal finishing industry in the USA. But hopefully someone from the food service industry in India will chime in with a better answer for you.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

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