304 and 201 stainless steel comparision

There are approximately 2,000 types of stainless steel that are regularly manufactured. Understanding why the aforementioned these types are used for banding is very important. Especially the most popular stainless steel 304 and 201.

304 and 201 stainless steel comparision

1. Price:

By the situatition of the continuously rising prices of nickel, stainless steel products which contained low nickel content, low prices is really attractive. And the 201 stainless steel is a suitable choice. Grade of 201 stainless steel is gaining large of market, where 304 stainless steel and 301 stainless steel are the main choice. 201 stainless steel has a low and stable prices cause it uses Magan alternative to Nickel. So, it makes 201 stainless steel has many similar properties and characteristic as 304 stainless steel  and has an appearance as same as 304 stainless steel appearance.
201 stainless steel pipe
201 stainless steel pipe

The stainless steel is a type of steel that contains more than 11% chrome, so stainless steel has a film self-protect against corrosion. Nickel also known as the main factor to bring stability to the Austenitic phase and capable of easy processing to stainless steel.

304 stainless steel has a minimum content of Nickel of 8%. In elements which formed to Austenitc, there are many elements can substitute for Nickel to create resistance to corrosion. For example: Chrome (Chrome is the main elements that makes corrosion resistance of stainless steel), Manganese (also contributes to stable Austenitic phase), Nitrogen also contribute to hardness, Copper (Cu) also contributed to Austenitic phase stability.

In 201 stainless steel, Manganese was used as the main element to replace Nickel in a 2:1 ratio. We can see by the following chemical composition:

+ Stainless steel 201: 4.5% Niken and 7.1% Mangan
+ Stainless steel 304: 8.1% Niken and 1% Mangan

With this composition as above have reduce the raw cost material to produce a 201 stainless steel. This is a first advantage of 201 stainless steel.

2. Durability and capable processing of 201 stainless steel.


Density of 201 Stainless Steel is lower 304 stainless steel but the durability of 201 stainless steel is higher 10% than 304 stainless steel

Due to the ability to stretch is the same with 304 stainless steel, 201 stainless steel is similar properties as 304 in the process of bending, shaping and flattening. But in a other way, Stainless Steel 304 is still more flattening than 201 stainless steel. (This is due to the effects of Manganese element on 201 stainless steel, and it makes 201 stainless steel harder than 304 stainless steel)


3. Corrosion Resitance capable comparision

When we compare the chemical content of 201 stainless steel and 304 stainless steel show the lower Chrome in 201 stainless steel than 304 stainless steel is about 2%. This makes the corrosion resitance of 201 stainless steel is lower than 304 stainless steel.

Surface pitting resistance is determined mainly by Chrome elements and Sulfur (S). Chromium makes stainless steel more resistant to corrosion, while the Sulfur reduces the resistance of corrosion. In chemical content, 2 kind of Stainless Steel has the same rate of Sulfur element. So pitting resistance on the surface of 201 stainless steel is lower than 304 stainless steel.
304 : 304 stainless steel with 8.1% of Niken
4Ni: 201 stainless steel with 4% of Niken
This image is the result of spray salt water through 575 hours. This dis-advantage makes 201 stainless steel should never in use maritime industry.

4. 201 stainless steel application


  • Kitchenware, such as stainless steel pot, stainless steel pan: Suitable
  • Dish washer, washing machine: Not suitable because of errosion
  • Food proccessing appliance: Not suitable in area which PH<3
  • Chemical, petrolium and Nuclear Energy: Not suitable
  • Interior decoration: Suitable
  • Exterio decoration: Not suitable because of errosion