Stainless Steel 321 vs 310 – What’s the Difference

Stainless Steel 321 vs 310

Are you considering using stainless steel for your next project? If so, what is the difference between stainless steel 321 and 310? While these two materials are part of the austenitic stainless steel family, they have distinct differences in their chemical makeup that impact their properties and applications. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the key differences between stainless steel 321 and 310 to help you decide which material best fits your needs.

Difference Between Stainless Steel 321 and 310

Chemical Composition

Stainless Steel 321 is a titanium-stabilized austenitic stainless steel that contains chromium, nickel, and small amounts of titanium and manganese. Adding titanium to the alloy helps prevent chromium carbide formation at high temperatures, which can cause corrosion. In contrast, stainless steel 310 contains high chromium and nickel, with no titanium or manganese. This gives it excellent oxidation resistance but is more susceptible to corrosion cracking.

Temperature Resistance

Stainless steel 321 is an excellent choice for high-temperature applications, with a maximum operating temperature of 1500°F (816°C). Adding titanium and high carbon content gives it better resistance to intergranular corrosion, making it ideal for welding and structural applications. Stainless steel 310, on the other hand, can withstand temperatures up to 1900°F (1038°C) and is often used in heat treating, continuous casting, and other high-temperature applications.

Welding and Formability

Stainless steel 321 is more easily welded than 310, thanks to its addition of titanium, which promotes intergranular resistance. Its higher carbon content also promotes weldability, making it more easily formable than 310. However, stainless steel 310 is much harder and stronger, making it more challenging to form and weld. It is ideal for high-strength applications, such as furnace parts and heat exchangers.

Corrosion Resistance

321 and 310 are resistant to most chemicals and oxidizing acids, but 310 is more susceptible to chloride pitting and stress corrosion cracking. In addition, 321 is more resistant to intergranular corrosion thanks to its titanium content. However, both materials resist scaling and oxidation at high temperatures.

Cost Considerations

Regarding cost, 310 is generally more expensive than 321 due to its higher nickel content and more exceptional temperature resistance. However, 310’s superior durability and strength in certain applications may outweigh the cost difference.


When choosing between stainless steel 321 and 310, it’s essential to consider the specific requirements of your application. While both materials are part of the austenitic stainless steel family, their chemical composition and properties impact their performance and suitability for various uses. If you’re working with high temperatures, 321’s resistance to intergranular corrosion and weldability may make it the better choice. On the other hand, if you need a material that can withstand the most extreme temperatures and pressures, 310 may be the way to go. With the information in this blog post, you can make an informed decision that meets your needs and budget.



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