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201 and 304 Stainless steel difference
Dec 27, 2017

First, chemical composition is different. Normally stainless steel is based on iron and carbon, add in some metal such as nickel, chromium, manganese to make it to be with anti rust property. Nickel and chromium percentage is higher in 304, but manganese is lower.

Second, chemical properties. 304 stainless steel with higher nickel, which is the main composition to anti corrosion, so 304 stainless steel perform better in anti corrosion.

Third, physical properties. Tensile strength of 304 is better than 201 stainless steel. 201 stainless steel need more force during stretching and is easier to broken.

Forth, safety. 201 stainless steel contain more manganese, it is harmful to nervous system. 304 belong to food grade stainless steel. Currently, all food grade stainless steel all 304 or even better grade.

Fifth, price. Price of 304 stainless steel is higher.

Sixth, application scope. 304 stainless steel use more in outdoor decoration for better anti corrosion property. 201 stainless steel is better in acid and alkali-resistance, used more in indoor decoration and pipe.

Conclusion: 304 stainless steel with more nickel and chromium, with better anti corrosion and tensile stretching. Price is higher and used more in building with high requirement in anti corrosion.

201 stainless steel with less nickel and chromium, more manganese. This determine it is better in acid and alkali-resistance. Price is lower and use in decorative and industrial pipe. 

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