904L stainless steel is a highly durable and highly versatile material. It’s valued for its high resistance to corrosion and heat as well as its level of weldability. It’s even the choice for stainless steel Rolex watches; the high end watchmaker made the switch from 304L to 904L when they discovered that the latter would offer a better level of resistance to corrosion and pitting and make even their watches a lifelong purchase even for active wearers.
What are 904L’s best qualities?
This type of stainless steel has a low carbon content. It is high in copper to add resistance to strong acids such as sulphuric acid. The presence of high amounts of nickel makes it resistant to stress corrosion cracking. It is also highly resistant to crevice corrosion and stress corrosion cracking that can plague other types of steel. It can be used in a range of challenging environments that include warm seawater and chloride exposure. It’s a good material for both mild and aggressive conditions.
This type of stainless steel is highly resistant to heat up to 400 degrees Celcius. It is heat treatable at temperatures that range from 1090 to 1175 Celcius when followed by rapid cooling. This sort of thermal treatment is a good choice for hardening 904L steel.
This type of steel is non-magnetic because of its make-up. It offers high levels of weldability, formability and toughness in a range of conditions.
904L steel can be welded using all conventional methods without a need for pre-heat and post-weld heat treatments.
What is 904L used for?
As mentioned earlier, 904L steel is the stainless steel used in the construction of Rolex watches. In industrial settings, it is valued for its high purity and its low sulfur content. A few of the places 904L is used includes:
- Seawater cooling devices.
- Wiring in electrostatic filtration devices.
- Oil refinery components.
- Gas scrubbing plant parts.
- Machinery for pulp and paper processing.
- Parts in machines used in sulfuric, acetic and phosphoric acid processing plants.
At Great Plains Stainless, we carry a wide range of stainless steel tubes, pipes, fittings and flanges for all of your consumer and industrial needs. Get in touch today to learn more about what we have available and the best materials for your next project.