Stainless Steel 17-4 PH vs 304 – What’s the Difference

Stainless Steel 17-4 PH vs 304

If you’re looking for the perfect metal for your project, you might wonder what the difference is between stainless steel 17-4 PH and stainless steel 304. While they are both types of stainless steel, they have distinct properties that make them suitable for different applications. In this blog post, we’ll be going through the main differences between these two metals to help you make an informed decision.

Difference Between Stainless Steel 17-4 PH and 304

Chemical Composition:

Stainless steel 304 is a type of austenitic stainless steel containing a high percentage of chromium and nickel. This makes it highly resistant to corrosion and oxidation, so it’s often used in food processing, architectural, and marine applications. On the other hand, stainless steel 17-4 PH is a precipitation-hardening stainless steel that contains chromium, nickel, and copper. It’s designed to be more durable and withstand harsher environments than 304.

Strength and Hardness:

Stainless steel 17-4 PH is known for its strength and hardness. Due to its unique chemical composition, it can withstand high temperatures and extreme pressure. This makes it ideal for heavy-duty industrial applications, such as manufacturing equipment, aviation parts, and medical devices. Stainless steel 304, while still strong, is not as hard as 17-4 PH. However, using various fabrication techniques, it’s easy to work with and can be easily formed into different shapes.


The cost is another significant difference between stainless steel 17-4 PH and 304. 17-4 PH is generally more expensive than 304 because of its unique properties and higher percentage of alloying elements. However, the increased cost is often justified by the improved durability and corrosion resistance 17-4 PH offers, which can ultimately save you money in the long run.


While both stainless steels can be welded, they require different techniques. Stainless steel 304 is easy to weld and requires no specialized equipment. On the other hand, stainless steel 17-4 PH requires preheating and a specific type of welding technique to ensure that it retains its strength and properties. Consequently, welding 17-4 PH requires a skilled professional with experience working with this material.


Stainless steel 304 is commonly used in food processing, architecture, and interior design due to its corrosion resistance. It’s also used for making kitchen and household appliances, chemical containers, and pipes. Stainless steel 17-4 PH, on the other hand, is ideal for heavy-duty applications requiring high strength and hardness, such as aerospace, defence, marine, and oil and gas. It’s used for making gears, shafts, and turbine blades, among other things.


To summarize, stainless steel 17-4 PH and 304 have unique properties and are suitable for different applications. If you’re working on a heavy-duty project that requires exceptional toughness and strength, 17-4, PH is the better choice. However, if you need a metal that’s easy to work with, has good corrosion resistance, and is less expensive, then stainless steel 304 would be a great option. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your specific needs and requirements. Hopefully, this blog post has helped you make an informed choice between the two types of stainless steel.

Minal Jogale

Minal Jogale

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