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304 vs 430

What is the difference between 304 and 430

There are many different grades of stainless steel available to the market with each grade offering a unique characteristic for use in specific applications.

Two of the most common and versatile grades however are the ferritic grade 430 (1.4016) and the austenitic 304 (1.4301). In appearance, they both look very similar and it is more than likely that you won’t be able to tell the difference between them just by looking at them. These 2 grades make up a large majority of stainless steel in use however there are some marked differences between them that set them apart from each other.


A large majority of the cost of any metal is the price of each individual element that is used in the composition. As the cost of alloys changes daily on the global market, this can have a large impact on the price fluctuations. 304 is generally more expensive than 430 because of the chemical composition. Notably, 304 contains between 8 – 10.5% nickel whereas 430 contains 0%. The inclusion of nickel in 304 makes the metal more corrosion resistant than 430 however it is an expensive element which is one of the main reasons for the difference in cost between the 2.


Although 304 is an austenitic grade it can still display magnetic properties after cold working. A very good example of this is the magnetism along the cut edge of any austenitic grade is more noticeable than along any non worked surface.
430 on the other hand is a ferritic grade which makes it very magnetic.
Although there is a difference in the magnetism between the 2 grades, it should be noted that not all magnetic grades are 430 and not all non magnetic grades are 304.

Chemical composition

Grade C Si Mn P S N Cr Ni
304 0.07 1.00 2.00 0.045 0.015 0.10 17.5 - 19.5 8.0 - 10.5
430 0.08 1.00 1.00 0.040 0.015 - 16.0 - 18.0 -

Corrosion resistance

Stainless steel as a whole is corrosion resistant however, different grades perform better than others. The introduction to nickel in 304 makes it a much more corrosion resistant grade than 430 however, it does make it more expensive. Where cost is a larger factor than life span, 430 may be more suitable.

Pressing / Drawing

In addition to the presence of nickel making 304 more corrosion resistant, it also make it much easier to press and draw. The absence of nickel in 430 means that this grade of stainless steel will likely crack or fail if compared to pressing 304.

As a global supplier of stainless steel products, thyssenkrupp Materials (UK) not only carry a large range of these grades in stock for immediate supply but we also have our own dedicated processing facilities both in the UK and Europe to help us offer bespoke finishes and sizes saving you both fabrication time, stocking costs and scrap. Contact us to find out more.

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