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topic 50226p3

Type 304 vs. type 202 stainless steel

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A discussion started in 2008 but continuing through 2019

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. Hopefully someone from the food service industry in India will chime in with an answer.


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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

SS 202 cutting and polish

March 18, 2017

Q. Hi, can anyone help me out with optimum cutting edge solution for cutting 202 stainless steel tubes, ranging 3/8 - 1 inc, all 1-1.5 mm thick? Currently I'm using abrasive cutter wheel for my work.

Q2. When I do electropolishing on SS 202 , the finish isn't good enough compared to SS 304. Is it possible to get mirror finish on SS 202 via electropolishing?


Sanjeev Bordia
- Mumbai, Maharashtra , India

May 9, 2017

Q. Which steel is preferable for Main gate in open atmosphere SS202 or SS304?

Surender Kumar
- indore India

August 2017

thumbs up sign Hi Surender. The general question of SS202 vs. SS304 atmospheric corrosion resistance has been addressed repeatedly on this page: 202 is cheaper; 304 is better and more trustworthy for exterior exposure. Ammit Gulati has stated that "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"

If you want a more finely grained answer, you must somehow ask a more finely grained question. Otherwise we are achieving nothing but badgering the generous people who have already repeatedly responded :-)

Thanks & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

Can't thread SS 202 material

January 24, 2018

Q. Sir, how to do threading operation on SS 202 material? I have tried doing threading by flat die rolling machine but the die gets damaged very often, so please suggest what should I be doing?

Vinit Kavani
- Surendranagar, Gujarat, India

February 5, 2018

A. Hi Vinit,

You should check the material of the flat dies of the rolling machine, it's quite different from the ones used for carbon steel. And die material is vital for service life.

I didn't work with SS202, but SS302 and SS304L have nearly the same conformability and they can be threaded by flat die rolling machines provided the right materials for the dies and hardness of the raw material is not too high.

Hope it helps! Regards,

Daniel Montanes
TEL - N FERRARIS - Canuelas, Buenos Aires, Argentina

February 26, 2018

Q. Can I use 202 ss square pipe for my windows? My house is at Calicut Kerala. Should I opt 304 while considering quality. I want a long lasting one without any degradation in Kerala climate. My locality is not a coastal region. Kindly give a reply on terms of quality and sustainability.


Subi K Balakrishnan
Mmm - Calicut, Kerala, India

March 9, 2018

Q. I wish to manufacture SS hotpots or casserole which keeps hot food hot. Can I use SS 202 or 304? I tried to press SS 202 but it is developing cracks on the sides. I was told to use steel with high nickel content. As far as to my knowledge, high nickel content only prevents corrosion and rusting. Why is the hotpot or casserole cracking from the sides?

Parimal kumar
appliances - kolkata, India

March 14, 2018

A. Hi Parimal,

Nickel makes stainless more resistant to rust in certain conditions, but more than that, it is the responsible for its austenitic structure. Nickel makes austenite stable and improves speed of self-passivation, and makes all the part non-magnetic.

200-series replaces nickel with manganese, and this element doesn't stabilize austenite as nickel, so you can find other structures after or during cold-forming. You can find more sulfur in the alloy, if it is not informed in some certificate you should ask for it AND measure the raw material, you could be surprised what you can find in these low cost alloys.

Well, keep us posted! Best of luck!

Daniel Montanes
TEL - N FERRARIS - Canuelas, Buenos Aires, Argentina

May 17, 2018

Q. This may not be the proper place for my question, but I need to start somewhere. In craft making, what type of stainless steel should I use for a cake tester? Does it need to be food grade since you stick it into food in the oven for a few seconds? Or can I just use a 16 gauge coil of rust proof stainless steel? Thanks.

Cindy Sullivan
- Merritt Island, Florida, USA

May 2018

A. Hi Cindy. Although I suppose it is possible to find a stainless steel that isn't 'food grade', most stainless steel is. Your flatware may be type 316SST, your steak knives type 420 or 440A, and pots & pans type 18/0 for example.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

May 25, 2018

thumbs up sign Thanks Ted for your answer to my question re. SS cake testers. I get the impression I won't kill anybody with my homemade testers. (After all, they're just for family!)
Cindy Sullivan

Cindy Sullivan [returning]
- Merritt Island, Florida USA

August 29, 2018

Q. Hi. For Hotel Electric Room Kettles, what's the deal in using 204 stainless than 304 stainless? the 204 stainless kettle sample that I have seems more elegant and thicker in finish than the kettle with 304 stainless. Thanks!

Jenny Arienda
- Manila, Philippines

August 2018

A. Hi Jenny. It is probably hopeless for a purchaser to try to select small appliances based on their supposed composition of stainless steel :-(

As you've read again & again on this page, type 304 stainless steel is in theory more corrosion resistant -- but that's probably a fact for manufacturers to weigh in deciding how to make their products. It's probably not a valid point for a purchaser since the designs might be different, with one or the other more likely to stay wet or be more difficult to clean ... or one may be passivated and the other not. If the one made of SS202 seems more elegant to you and thicker in finish, and you can't find trustable reviews for comparison, that's the one you should buy. Perhaps the two manufacturers had to meet the same price point and one elected to use thin SS304 while the other decided to go with a heavier gauge of the less expensive SS202. Good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

These are the specs, what grade Stainless is it?

September 26, 2018


Can you help me suggest grade for below composition?

T.S 668
C 0.07
NI 8.6
CR 17

Can you suggest which grade this composition applies to?

I introduce myself: I am from Pakistan and I am an importer/wholesaler/vendor of different kinds of metal. In our country for one gov't origination we participated many times, but we are failed for price as our competitor gives a price very shocking. We test this grade in laboratory and find this content.

Per my knowledge this content applies for grade SUS303. Please you check which grade can apply. Thank you very much.


Naeem shah
Flagturn engineering & automation - Karachi, Pakistan

September 28, 2018

A. Hello Naeem,

It could either be SUS302, SUS303 or SUS304, but I don't see SUS303 with an elongation of 60% because of the addition of sulfur (which you didn't measure or inform). SUS303 elongation is usually near 35%.

Hope you can solve this!


Daniel Montanes
TEL - N FERRARIS - Canuelas, Buenos Aires, Argentina

October 2, 2018

Q. Can 202 stainless steel will be useful for Induction cooktop.

Jatin Meshram
- Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

October 2018

A. Hi Jatin. My understanding is that despite its fairly low nickel content, type 202 stainless is non-magnetic and thus not useful for induction cooking.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

SS304 and SS202 Tanks for Food Oil

November 13, 2018

Q. Are SS304 and SS202 food grade Steel?
Can I use either of them for making oil storage tanks?

Ramakrishna Maganti
- Hyderabad,India

November 2018

A. Hi Ramakrishna. I would expect that those materials are satisfactory for oil storage; and your inquiry will hopefully draw some additional responses.

But I would note that materials that will be in contact with foodstuffs tend to be highly regulated by bodies like NSFA and the FDA, and there are situations where only SS316 is allowed. I would suggest checking codes before relying on personal opinions. Good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

December 5, 2018

SS202 vs SS410
I have to use this material for application of 700-800 °C and I want corrosion resistance to it. Is SS202 suitable (as SS410 is getting corrosion which is causing trouble for movement application)?

Mohit Patil
Dynalec Controls - Pune, Maharashtra, India

December 2018

A. Hi Mohit. It seems that the general rule is that 202 Stainless Steel is more corrosion resistant than series 4xx but less corrosion resistant than series 3xx.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

December 7, 2018

AISI 202 should be better, but for better corrosion resistance for that temperature range you should seek for a refractory SS, as AISI 310/314.


Daniel Montanes
TEL - N FERRARIS - Canuelas, Buenos Aires, Argentina

January 9, 2019

Q. Is SS202 suitable for storing foodstuffs such as grains, nuts, etc? If not, then which grade suits?

Larry Kam
- Singapore

January 2019
Ralls Texas Grain Silos 2010


A. Hi Larry. Hopefully a structural designer who is skilled in the international building code requirements for silos, or a homemaker who uses a kitchen canister for walnuts, or both, will reply :-)
But seriously, please try your best to draw the interest of those who can best help you by avoiding abstract questions and carefully detailing your own situation. Thanks, and good luck!


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

June 9, 2019

Q. Hi,
Thanks for an excellent education into world of SS.
I understand that SS202 is more prone to corrosion than e.g. 304. However, what does that mean in practice? For example, an outdoor product such as a barbecue where everything from the hood to the work surface is made of SS202? Should I expect that such a product will show rust stains if left outdoors all year round?
The supplier markets this as a "stainless rust free" product but after reading up on this thread I am beginning to question this statement.
It would be great if I could get some advice on this as the product costs several thousand USD.
Thanks in advance! Tomas

Tomas Wolf
- Uppsala, Sweden

June 2019

A. Hi Tomas. SS304 is better than SS202 which is better than SS430. But unfortunately, I think the only way to know if this SS202 barbecue will be satisfactory is to check better business bureau reports, Amazon reviews, references from other buyers, Yelp reviews, or ask friends & neighbors. Sales pap never constitutes a thorough manufacturing process review, and you don't know whether the stainless was properly passivated, whether some of it for some reason has a clear coat on it, whether the burners cause hot spots on the cover which will discolor it, whether the screws, rivets, and hinge pins are 202SS, etc.

I hope someone else will respond, but after spending over 50 years in the metal finishing industry, I have no confidence in my ability to determine good purchases from sales descriptions. I've owned several stainless barbecues in my life and the only thing I can say with confidence is that people will be happy with a Weber (and I never even inquired what grade SS it was, but checked just now and it is strongly magnetic) and they'll be unhappy with most others (and I don't know what grade SS they were).

Read the warranty very carefully -- it will provide the key to whether the grill manufacturer promises to meet your aesthetic requirements or not. And when you clean the grill, use only what the manufacturer suggests; never use any product that has acid or chlorine bleach in it. Best of luck!


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

June 10, 2019

thumbs up sign Many thanks for your advice and above all, many thanks for taking the time to share your expertise and experiences!
All the best, Tomas

Tomas Wolf [returning]
- Uppsala, Sweden

November 28, 2019


Radhakrishnan Unnithan
Beerensgas [I]Pvt Ltd - Hospet City, Karnataka state-India

January 22, 2020

Q. Hi I am vakil khan From Abu Dhabi. My question: can I use SS 202 on the Roof area for pump installation or not? But very near to see our building?

Vaki khan
mechanical QA and QC - Abu dhabi UAE

January 2020

A. Hi Vaki. Your question is a bit vague. I think you are asking whether the appearance will be satisfactory vs. whether it will be rusty. You are quite near the sea, and I've never been to the area. Personally, I would use properly passivated 304 SS, maybe even 316 SS unless I could see a good range of examples of 202 SS successfully employed on buildings in the area.

Hopefully an architect of HVAC engineer from the area will offer a comment.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

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