What we do for our clients is right in our name: Central Metal Fabricators. We design and manufacture the highest quality metal components and products for a wide variety of industries.

But, of course, metal is a large umbrella term; we work with an array of metals based on the specific needs and applications, and we use our experience and expertise to choose the right one for the job. This includes various stainless steels, and we’re often asked how specific stainless steels differ. Here, we’d like to explore the similarities and differences between two of them: T409 and T304.

Stainless steel T409 is most commonly used for automotive exhaust systems and similar applications, due to its composition of chromium and nickel, which is highly corrosion-resistant. Chromium produces a filmy texture that acts as a buffer on the steel, preventing corrosion as well as cuts and scratches; the more chromium in steel, the more corrosion- and oxidation-resistant it is. When you add nickel to it, it becomes even more resistant. T409 has a high chromium content (10.50% to 11.75%, and a nickel content of 0.50%), making it very resistant.

T409 Stainless Steel is used frequently in applications with higher temperature ranges of 700 F to 1400 F. Therefore T409 is a good material to use in Gas Combustion Systems, Exhaust Stacks, Silencer Systems and Expander Exhaust Cases.However, while it offers good strength, it doesn’t have the strength needed for certain applications, such as fasteners, and it can show surface oxidation over time, due to its high ferrous content.

While T409 has a relatively high chromium content—and, therefore, good corrosion resistance—T304 has more chromium (between 18% and 20%). It also has a much higher nickel content (between 8% and 10%) and lower ferrous content. This makes it a higher quality stainless steel, as it is more durable and resistant. Therefore, it’s used in applications where strength and durability are of utmost importance. However, as a higher quality metal, it is more expensive, so it should be chosen when strength and durability are required, and when T409 will not meet these needs.

In the end, the suitable stainless steel choice depends on the requirements of the part and application. While it is important to know the above distinctions in order to make the right choice, experts can help guide you and ensure you make the right choice.

At Central Metal Fabricators, we will talk extensively with you about your projects’ needs, and direct you to the exact right metal for you. Feel free to contact us anytime with questions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *