Core 304/4301
EN 1.4301, ASTM TYPE 304 / UNS S30400

General characteristics

Core 304/4301 is a classic 18% chromium, 8% nickel austenitic stainless steel. It’s an all-purpose product with good corrosion resistance and is suitable for a wide variety of applications that require good formability and weldability. Core 304/4301 can be delivered with a variety of surface finishes.

Core 304/4301 is an austenitic stainless steel, which belongs to the standard CrNi stainless steel family. Core 304/4301 is the basic variant with normal carbon and nickel content.

The austenitic CrNi standard grades are the most widely used group of stainless steels. Their well-balanced material properties make them suitable for the fabrication of many products.

Core 304/4301 is commonly available from many stainless steel stockists in many product forms and dimensions. It can be supplied with a wide range of functional and aesthetic surface finishes.


Typical applications

  • Household appliances and consumer goods
  • Kitchen equipment
  • Indoor and outdoor cladding, handrails, and window frames
  • Food and beverage industry equipment
  • Storage tanks
  • Flanges and valves


Product forms, available sizes and finishes


Product typeFinishesThicknessWidth
Cold rolled coil and sheet2B, 2D, 2E, Bright annealed0,30-8,00≤ 2032
Hot rolled coil and plateHot rolled white, Mechanically descale1,36-12,70≤ 2032
Quarto plateHot rolled white5,00-130,00≤ 3200
Chemical composition


The typical chemical composition for this grade is given in the table below, together with composition limits given for the product according to different standards. The required standard will be fully met as specified on the order.

The chemical composition is given as % by mass.

TypicalCore 304/43010.0418.18.1
ASTM A240/A240MTYPE 304 / UNS S30400<0.07<217.5-19.58.0-10.5<0.10Si:<0.75 P:<0.045 S:<0.030
EN 10088-21.4301<0.07<217.5-19.58.0-10.5<0.10Si:<1 P:<0.045 S:<0.030
Mechanical properties

The mechanical properties of the available products in soft annealed condition at room temperature are given in the table below. Moderate strengths can be reached at elevated temperatures (~550 °C). Temperatures for excessive scaling are close to 850 °C. This grade, along with other austenitic corrosion-resistant steels, exhibits very high ductility and high elongation to fracture. It is not susceptible to brittle fracture in the solution annealed condition.

Due to the high impact toughness and tensile properties at very low temperatures this grade is applicable for cryogenic applications down to -196 °C.

This austenitic grade is also available in the temper rolled condition. Higher product strength can be achieved, when the final cold rolling process is controlled and the material is left in a work hardened condition. Strength classes are given in the standards EN 10088-2 and ASTM A666-03.

Please contact your local Outokumpu sales company for more information.

StandardGradeRp0.2Rp1.0RmElongationImpact strengthRockwellHBHV
Product type: Cold rolled coil and sheet
Typical (thickness 1 mm)Core 304/43012853156407082HRB
Product type: Hot rolled coil and sheet
Typical (thickness 4 mm)Core 304/430128534062555175
Product type: Hot rolled quarto plate
Typical (thickness 15 mm)Core 304/430127030060055

1)Elongation according to EN standard:
A80 for thickness < 3 mm.
A for thickness ≥ 3 mm.
Elongation according to ASTM standard A2” or A50.

Corrosion resistance

Core 304/4301 has excellent corrosion resistance in solutions of many halogen-free organic and inorganic compounds over a wide temperature and concentration range. It can withstand many organic and sufficiently diluted mineral acids depending on the temperature of the solution. Grade 4301 may suffer from uniform corrosion in mineral acids and hot strong alkaline solutions. More detailed information on corrosion properties of Core 304/4301 can be found in Outokumpu’s Corrosion Tables published in the Outokumpu Corrosion Handbook and on

In aqueous solutions containing halogenides, e.g. chlorides or bromides, pitting and crevice corrosion may occur depending on halogenide concentration, temperature, pH-value, concentration of oxidizing compounds, or crevice geometry, if applicable. For a short period of time, for instance during cooking of food in stainless steel dishes, Core 304/4301 can tolerate even relatively high chloride concentrations. The presence of corrosion-inhibiting or accelerating compounds like transition metal ions or organic compounds may influence the corrosion behavior of Core 304/4301.

Core 304/4301 is prone to chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking at temperatures over about 50 °C depending on the applied stress and the chloride concentration in the environment. Prior cold deformation of the structure under load increases the risk of stress corrosion cracking.

Core 304/4301 can be used for indoor and outdoor applications in rural areas and urban environments where chloride contamination is low. The best material performance is usually reached with the help of adequate design, correct post-weld treatment, and regular cleaning during use (if applicable).

For more information on corrosion resistance, please refer refer to the Outokumpu Corrosion Handbook or contact our corrosion experts.

Pitting corrosion resistanceCrevice corrosion resistance

PRE Pitting Resistant Equivalent calculated using the formula: PRE = %Cr + 3.3 x %Mo + 16 x %N
CPT Corrosion Pitting Temperature as measured in the Avesta Cell (ASTM G 150), in a 1M NaCl solution (35,000 ppm or mg/l chloride ions).
CCT Critical Crevice Corrosion Temperature is the critical crevice corrosion temperature which is obtained by laboratory tests according to ASTM G 48 Method F



Physical properties

Physical properties according to EN 10088-1 are given in the table below.


DensityModulus of elasticityThermal exp. at 100 °CThermal conductivityThermal capacityElectrical resistanceMagnetizable

*) Austenitic stainless steel grades may be magnetizable to a certain degree after cold deformation, e.g. in temper rolled condition.


Cold forming

Core 304/4301 can be readily formed and fabricated using a full range of cold forming operations. It can be used in heading, drawing, and bending. Any cold forming operations will increase the strength and hardness of the material and may leave it slightly magnetic. Work hardening is accentuated by the partial transformation of the austenite phase of the material to hard martensite.

Hot forming

Hot forming can be carried out in the 850 °C–1150 °C range. For maximum corrosion resistance, forging should be annealed at 1050 °C and rapidly cooled in air or water after hot forming operations.


Due to their high toughness and work hardening behavior austenitic steels are more difficult to machine than carbon steels but are still comparatively easier than more highly alloyed stainless steel grades. It require higher cutting forces than carbon steels, show resistance to chip breaking, and have a high tendency to built-up edge formation. The best machining results are obtained by using high-power equipment, sharp tooling, and a rigid set-up.

Better machinability performance is achieved using Prodec versions, which have been modified for improved machinability. Prodec is available as hot rolled plate and bar in 4301, 4307, 4401, 4404, 4436 and 4432.


Austenitic Core 304/4301 grade has excellent weldability and is suitable for the full range of conventional welding methods (like MMA, MIG, MAG, TIG, SAW, LBW, or RSW), except gas welding.

Core 304/4301 have about 50% higher thermal expansion and lower heat conductivity compared to carbon steels. This means that larger deformation and higher shrinkage stresses may result from welding.

In thin sections, autogenous welding may be used. In thicker section, the low-carbon grade 4307 is preferred, and to ensure that the weld metal properties (e.g. strength, corrosion resistance) are equivalent to those of the parent metal, matching or slightly over-alloyed fillers should preferably be used. Recommended filler metal is 19 9 L.

Post-weld heat treatment is generally not required. In special cases where there is high risk of stress corrosion cracking or fatigue, stress relief treatment may be considered.

In order to fully restore the corrosion resistance of the weld seam, the weld discoloration should be removed by pickling and passivation.

More detailed information concerning welding procedures can be obtained from the Outokumpu Welding Handbook, available from our sales offices.

Standards & approvals

The most commonly used international product standards are given in the table below.


ASTM A240/A240MTYPE 304 / UNS S30400
EN 10088-21.4301