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Alloy 904L


UNS NO8904, commonly known as 904L, is a low carbon high alloy austenitic stainless steel which is widely used in applications where the corrosion properties of AISI 316L and AISI 317L are not adequate.

The addition of copper to this grade gives it corrosion resistant properties superior to the conventional chrome nickel stainless steels, in particular to sulphuric, phosphoric and acetic acids. However, there is limited use with hydrochloric acids. It also has a high resistance to pitting in chloride solutions, a high resistance to both crevice and stress corrosion cracking. Alloy 904L performs better than other austenitic stainless steels due to the higher alloying of nickel and molybdenum.

The grade is non-magnetic in all conditions and has excellent formability and weldability. The austenitic structure also gives this grade excellent toughness, even down to cryogenic temperatures.

The high chromium content promotes and maintains a passive film which protects the material in many corrosive environments.904L has a greater resistance to precipitation of ferrite and sigma phases on cooling and welding than other stainless steels containing molybdenum such as 316L and 317L. There is no risk of intercrystalline corrosion on cooling or welding due to the low carbon content. Its maximum service temperature is at 450°C.

This grade is particularly useful in control and instrumentation tubing applications where 316 and 317L are not suitable.

Available tube product forms

  • Straight
  • Coiled
  • Seamless

Typical Applications

  • Seawater cooling equipment
  • Chemical processing for sulphuric, phosphoric and acetic acids
  • Gas washing
  • Condenser tubes
  • Control and instrumentation
  • Heat exchangers

Typical manufacturing specifications

  • ASTM A213
  • ASTM A269
  • ASTM A312
  • BS EN 10216 pt.5
  • Also individual customer specifications.

Industries predominantly using this grade            

  • Chemical processing
  • Oil and gas
  • Pharmaceutical


Mechanical Properties

Temper Annealed
Tensile Rm 71 ksi (min)
Tensile Rm 490 MPa (min)
R.p. 0.2% Yield 32 ksi (min)
R.p. 0.2% Yield 220 MPa (min)
Elongation (2” or 4D gl) 35 % (min)

Physical Properties (Room Temperature)

Specific Heat (0-100°C) 450°K-1
Thermal Conductivity 11.5 W.m -1.°K-1
Thermal Expansion 15.8 mm/m/°C
Modulus Elasticity 190 GPa
Electrical Resistivity 9.52 μohm/cm
Density 7.95 g/cm3

Chemical Composition (% by weight)

Element Min Max
C - 0.2
Mn - 2
Ni 23 28
Cr 19 23
S - 0.3
Mo 4 5
N - 0.1
Cu 1 2
P - 0.03
Si - 0.7

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