304 OR 316 GRADE STAINLESS STEEL ENCLOSURE?
In order to sellect the right quality, envoirement should be careffully examined. Below are some information that may help the selection in general. For more detailed information you can check the white paper Stainless Steel Enclosures.
304-grade stainless steel is the most widely used type where special corrosion resistance is not required. More harh environments require 316-grade stainless steel. For coastal areas, 304 grade is not recommended. 304 grade is used most of the food and beverage industry applications (if the environment does not have excessive chloride usage or high corrosive cleaning solvents) due to high resistance to various acids found in meat, milk, fruit, and vegetables. Also used water treatment facilities (only ultraviolet treatment)
For water treatment facilities up to 100ppm chloride 304 grade and up to 1000ppm chloride, 316-grade stainless steel is used (Bromides, iodides and ozone levels should be under standard level). 316-grade stainless steel withstands to be presented in continuous saline water but can be used in overwater short term salt spray applications. In general can be preferred in the ship, oil platforms, marine applications and also salt mines. 316 preferred in the food industry which uses excessive acidic chemicals and concentrated chloride salts. 316-grade stainless steel having a considerable degree of resistance against sulfuric acid, so it can be preferred in the paper industry, vulcanization process for rubber or gun powder manufacturing. 304-grade stainless steel has more resistance to nitric acid then 316-grade stainless steel. Because of that, it is preferred in fertilizer production, pharmaceutical industry, explosive productions, synthetic yarn and polymer manufacturing or water treatment plants which used nitric acid.
It is important to consider that neither 304 grade nor 316-grade stainless steel will be able to withstand against chemical corrosion caused by hydrochloric acid.
Both grades of stainless steel should not be contacted with bleach.