Rocket Rack in 304 or 316 Stainless Steel

304 vs 316 image

Hey Chris! I saw that Rocket Rack is made from 304 stainless steel, but my spec calls for the use of 316 stainless. Can Rocket Rack be made from this material? And what's really the difference between the two?

Rocket Rack’s standard product offering is made from 304 stainless steel. However, 316 stainless steel is available upon request.

Both are high in chromium, contain added nickel, and are known for their incredible durability, cleanability, heat and cold protection, and corrosion resistance. But, there are a few reasons why your spec may call for one instead of the other, and they have to do with each steel alloy’s composition.

304 grade stainless steel is typically composed of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, while 316 grade stainless steel is typically comprised of 16% chromium, 10% nickel, and 2% molybdenum. The added molybdenum enhances the inherent anti-corrosion properties of stainless steel, increasing its resistance to chemical corrosion from acids or chlorides such as sea salt in marine environments.

304 stainless steel is extremely versatile, and it offers excellent corrosion resistance for use in a wide variety of environments. 316 is more specialized and is the preferred choice in particularly harsh environments with extreme corrosion potential, including areas with industrial chemicals. Stainless is often the chosen material because of its extremely wide operating temperature range. Both grades fare well in high temperatures and cryogenic temperatures, though 304 has a slightly higher melting point than 316.

The bottom line? If your project does not require extreme protection against corrosion or chemicals, Rocket Rack made from 304 grade stainless steel provides excellent corrosion resistance, longevity, and cleanability at a lower price. However, in environments where that added resistance is necessary, Rocket Rack made from 316 grade stainless steel is the ideal choice to improve the functionality and life span of the installed system, maintaining cleanability and potentially leading to long-term savings despite the higher initial cost. Be sure to refer to your spec for details concerning the proper materials for use in your project, and feel free to reach out to us at 903-680-4222 or email with any questions you may have.