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Why 316 stainless steel thick-walled steel pipe is more corrosion-resistant than 304 stainless steel
Date:2024-06-17      View(s):127      Tag:316 stainless steel pipe, 304 stainless steel pipe, thick walled steel pipe
Stainless steel has three common materials: 201, 304, and 316L. 201 has poor corrosion resistance and is cheap; 304 is a general material with strong corrosion resistance and the widest application range; 316 stainless steel thick-walled steel pipe is more corrosion-resistant than 304. To analyze the performance of a material, we must first look at the composition of the material. In addition, we must find out the type of corrosion. Today I will explain it in detail:

The types of corrosion of stainless steel materials include electrolyte corrosion and high-temperature corrosion. Let's compare the composition differences of the two materials: 304 stainless steel thick-walled steel pipe has a nickel content of 8.0%-10.5% and a chromium content of 18.0%-20.0%; 316 stainless steel thick-walled steel pipe has a nickel content of 10.0%~14.0%, a chromium content of 16.0%~18.0%, and a molybdenum content of 2.00%-3.00%. The nickel and chromium content is an important factor in determining the material's resistance to electrolyte corrosion. 316 has a significantly higher content than 304, so it has stronger corrosion resistance; and 316 contains a high-temperature resistant element, molybdenum, which can prevent high-temperature fatigue and embrittlement.

Theoretically, the electrode potential of the matrix (ferrite) of general steel and the carbides (cementite) or non-metallic inclusions dispersed on the matrix are different. The matrix is the negative electrode; the carbides and non-metallic inclusions are the positive electrode. Therefore, micro-batteries are formed in the electrolyte solution, causing the matrix to be continuously corroded.

If the carbides are very dispersed in the 316 stainless steel thick-walled steel pipe, a large number of micro-batteries will be formed, accelerating corrosion. It can be said that the multiphase structure of steel and the negative charge of the matrix are the two fundamental reasons why general steel is prone to corrosion in electrolyte solutions. Therefore, changing the negative charge of steel to increase the electrode potential, making the steel structure present a single-phase structure, and forming a dense and stable passivation film on the surface of the steel are three basic aspects to improve the corrosion resistance of steel.

316 stainless steel can produce passivation in the oxidizing medium of corrosion resistance. This is because the stainless steel and the oxidizing medium form a thin oxide film that is tightly attached to the surface of the stainless steel. The Cr: Fe content in the film varies between 0.7% and 9%. The Cr: Fe in steel is only 0.24%, which shows that chromium is enriched in stainless steel.

316 stainless steel thick-walled steel pipe has Mo added, and its corrosion resistance, atmospheric corrosion resistance, and high-temperature strength are particularly good. Due to the different expansion coefficients, it will produce a large thermal stress when heated, especially when the temperature changes rapidly or after multiple heating. Fatigue cracks will occur. Fatigue cracks are different from general high-temperature fatigue. The former is a kind of thermal embrittlement caused by internal thermal stress with the change of temperature, and the latter is caused by the change of external load at high temperatures.

Why is 316 stainless steel thick-walled steel pipe more corrosion-resistant than 304? From the basic corrosion resistance, the chromium and nickel content of 316 is higher than 304, and its corrosion resistance is far better than 304 in various organic acids, inorganic acids, alkalis, salts, and seawater. In addition, 316 stainless steel thick-walled steel pipe contains a unique molybdenum element, has good heat fatigue resistance, and can effectively prevent embrittlement.
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