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grade 304 stainless steel foil

Grade 304 Stainless Steel Foil

Stainless steel is a versatile material. It is capable of being drawn and formed into a variety of products. Stainless steel foils are one example of these processed variants that are used for numerous industries. Proceed to read and learn more about these steel crafts, with one variant, in particular, the grade 304 stainless steel foil.

What Is Stainless Steel Foil?

Stainless steel foils are extremely thin sheets of processed steel. They can be as thin as 100mm, resulting in paper-like characteristics, lightweight, and flexible.


Stainless steel foils are typically processed through hammering or rolling. After processing, they are often prepared in a tissue roll-like appearance. Manufacturers do this to protect these sheets from damage. At the same time, for practicality or transport and storage.


These stainless steel foils inherit similar properties and characteristics the steel type has. Many applications require properties like corrosion and electrical resistance, and durability


J3 stainless steel coil rolls

You can easily get the more cost-effective 304 stainless steel foil from Yaoyi. Thickness 0.1 mm~0.3 mm, width 550-600 mm cold rolled stainless steel coil. If you want some free sample of grade 304 stianless steel foil, just contact us.


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How to Identify a Grade 304 Stainless Steel Foil?

grade 304 stainless steel foil


Unknown to non-specialists, stainless steels have different grades. These grades exist because of elemental variations intended to fit different purposes. Grade 304 is among these variants of stainless steel and is the most widespread in the market. 


The differences between grades lie within the steel’s inner nature. Thus, it is impossible to determine one from another just through visual inspection. The only way to identify 304 from other grades is by assessing its properties and specifications. 


There’s no need to worry for those not versed in metallurgy since most manufacturers issue these specifications for reference. What’s left is to properly identify the characteristics which distinguish them like:


1. Internal Structure

Grade 304 is an austenitic stainless steel made up of face-centered cubics called austenites. The austenitic structure is primarily non-magnetic, and heat treatment cannot harden it. Furthermore, it is typically stabilized by specific elements such as nickel, manganese, and nitrogen. And such elements are some of which make up the majority of stainless steel.


2. Corrosion Resistance

Corrosion and oxidation resistance are what make stainless steel stand above other steel types. This property exists because of the steel’s Chromium content. And at least a minimum of 10.50% Chromium content is necessary to classify steel as “stainless.” 


Furthermore, this is just a minimum content that could still vary among different grades. Similarly, these compositional differences result in differences in performance.


3. Chemical Composition

Chemical composition is where lies the clear distinction of 304 among other grades. These are the following percentages to look into verifying a grade 304 foil:


Carbon (C) = ≤0.08%

Chromium (Cr) = 18% - 20%

Manganese (Mn) = ≤2.0%

Nickel (Ni) = 8% - 10.50%

Phosphorus (P) = ≤0.045

Silicon (Si) = ≤1.0%

Sulfur (S) = ≤0.03%


4. Physical Properties

Grade 304 has a density of 7.93 g/m3, which is typical among stainless steel. Additionally, it exhibits a melting point of 1450 °C, a 193 GPa modulus of elasticity, and 0.72 x 10-6 Ω.m electrical resistance. As for thermal properties, it has a conductivity of 16.2 W/m.K and an expansion of 17.2 x 10-6/K.


These numbers are essential from an engineering point of view, as they represent the capability and limits of the material. Furthermore, these stand as a basis if this particular grade will be efficient on particular applications.


5. Mechanical Properties

Grade 304 has a tensile strength of 500-700MPa and a yield strength greater than or equal to 205MPa. Furthermore, it has an elongation of 40% minimum, with a hardness Brinell scale of 201 maximum.


Mechanical properties are similarly important to check the extent of the material. These are numerical representations of the material’s durability, which is particularly important for structural applications.


6. Weldability

In terms of weldability, 304 exhibits a great performance. However, there are certain precautions for more intensive operations. Such intensive operations can cause carbide precipitations which are detrimental to the steel’s resistances. In these instances, you may have to check other grades for more suitable options.


7. Workability

Grade 304 is highly workable and can be drawn to extreme purposes such as stainless steel foils. In fact, malleability is one of the strengths of this grade, making it one of the popular ones.


8. Heat Treatment

As aforementioned, being austenitic stainless steel, grade 304 cannot be hardened through heat treatment. Furthermore, manufacturers typically issue these types in a base annealed form.


These are the typical properties of grade 304 stainless steel. Similarly, these shall stand as a reference to verify the grade of stainless steel foils. However, one should also note that regional variations can exist. A manufacturer from different countries can have minute variances among these factors. 


Thus, it is imperative to always look to the issued specifications by the manufacturer. This fact is especially crucial if you are going to outsource 304 stainless steel foils from other countries.


What are the Applications of Grade 304 SS Foil?

grade 304 stainless steel foil


Grade 304 stainless steel foils fill the gap of necessities wherein other steel foils are not capable of. For example, it has better corrosion resistance, durability, and electric resistance than aluminum and copper foils. Thus, you can see 304 stainless steel foils as a prevalent option for plenty of usages.


Here are some of the popular applications of 304 stainless steel foil;

• Food industry and kitchen wares such as sinks, plating, appliance components and the like.

• Packaging and processing industries

• Construction/ Building material such as architectural trims

• Alternative energy

• Heat exchangers

• Springs for precision devices and mechanisms such as circuit boards and electronic components.


Again these are just a few of the well-known applications. There might be other unmentioned uses which you can verify by consulting your local manufacturer or specialist.


Is 304 SS Foil Rustproof?

Grade 304 stainless steel foil is rust-resistant, not rust-proof. Just like any material, there are thresholds that, when surpassed, deteriorates it. The same applies to the corrosion or rust resistance of grade 304. 


However, worry not, since typical environmental conditions will find it hard to rust 304 foils. Besides, plenty of its applications involve outdoor use, which reinforces its viability against unfavorable weather conditions. Rain, for example, is one bane of regular carbon steel that is easily shrugged off by 304 stainless steel. Thus, certain applications favor the use of it.


In most cases, neglect, exposure to unresisted chemicals, or intentional abrasion cause rusting under normal conditions. Hence, it is wise to prevent these instances to prolong the lifespan of your 304 stainless steel foil.


How Can I Tell If My SS Foil Is 304 Or 316?

grade 304 stainless steel foil


304 and 316 are the most abundant supplies of stainless steel grades in the market. Thus, they are the common contenders for confusion among buyers. Similarly, stainless steel foil comes with a similar predicament. However, as established, you can differentiate them by assessing their properties and specifications.


Probably the easiest way of identifying the two is from their Molybdenum content. Grade 316 has more molybdenum content than 304. 


316 has around 2-3% of molybdenum content which is exceptionally high even among all other grades. This particular element boosts corrosion resistance; thus, 316 has better corrosion resistance. In fact, it is specialized because it is even called a “marine-grade” for such a reason.


Meanwhile, 304 is more like the benchmark among grades. It is also considered the “general-use” variant prevalent in the market. Its properties are well distributed, but other “specialized” variants may excel in some department or another, as with 316.


Is 304 Or 316 Stainless Steel Foil Better?


It actually depends on your application which can determine which is better between the two. In most cases, this is very situational among stainless steel grades. You have to carefully check your use and then look for the most suitable grade for it.


For an overview, grade 304 is the ‘general use’ variant. Meaning, if you don’t have any particular concerns like intense welding or extremely oxidizing environments, this is your best bet. Meanwhile, if your application requires higher performing corrosion resistance, then 316 does the job.


You might ask, “Well, why don’t you just buy 316 and get better resistance overall?”. The answer lies between the two grades’ caveats. Grade 316 is more expensive than 304. Thus it is an unwise expense to do, especially if 304 would suffice. Another example is that 304 has higher temperature ranges, which can be ideal for certain requirements compared to 316.


The better grade always underlies the niche that each stainless steel grade has. First, identify the application, next pick the most suitable grade. In doing so, you may save yourself from unnecessary expenses or implications.



Learning about the steel industry can be daunting and tricky at first. However, by taking small bites, you gain pieces of expertise, such as the case with 304 stainless steel foil. After all, you can only maximize the potential of material if you know the extent of its capabilities.


Now, if you’re looking for more information about 304 stainless steel foil, please feel free to contact us. Yaoyi is your leading manufacturer of stainless steel and will only deliver you the best services and products.