stainless steel banding

What’s the Difference? Type 304, 201 and 316 Stainless Steel Banding

Consumers enjoy visiting local stores to browse and purchase items. What most consumers never consider is how all those products are transported there. Stainless steel banding plays a huge part in this.

There are many types of banding, including polyester, rubber, polypropylene, and nylon. While these types may be sufficient for transporting lighter items, they don’t cut it for heavy duty materials. Items like timber, steel beams, and concrete need the strength of government-grade galvanized steel to ensure their safe transportation.

Even among stainless steel banding itself, there are specific types. Read more to find out the important differences between type 304, type 201, and type 316 stainless steel banding.

What Is Stainless Steel Banding?

Before learning about the different types of stainless steel banding, it’s important to understand what stainless steel banding is.

The many strapping materials that can be used for transporting goods are measured by their tensile strength. This unit of measurement is how engineers determine what size load a material can withstand before breaking. Stainless steel banding has the highest tensile strength of all.

Softer banding is not a good choice for holding materials with sharp edges, and these may cut through the strapping. Softer banding also is not ideal for holding materials that don’t settle, as they lose their shape when materials shift.

Stainless steel is composed of more than 11% chrome, which makes it naturally resistant to corrosion. It is designed to withstand exposure to both weather and ultraviolet rays. Whether transporting materials in rain, or in sunny, hot weather, stainless steel banding will keep items safe and secure.

For transporting heavy, hard and sharp items long distances, especially if they will have several loading and unloading operations, stainless steel strapping is the best for the job.

Type 304

Stainless steel type 304 is the more common and general purpose type of stainless steel. In fact, this type of stainless steel is so common that it’s likely used in your household appliances and even your faucet.

This type is defined by its higher nickel content than other types of stainless steel. Due to the rising cost of nickel, this makes stainless steel type 304 slightly more expensive than the other types. The nickel, however, is what makes type 304 less susceptible to corrosion.

Obviously, you can see why this type appeals to the appliance and plumbing industries. It also appeals to sign and electrical industries for some of the same reasons. Fixing signs and strapping pipelines and tanks are common uses for this type of stainless steel banding.

Ultimately, exposure to corrosive elements is what leads businesses to choose type 304 steel banding for their needs. It also has the same bending, shaping, and flattening abilities as type 201 stainless steel.

Unfortunately, while it is more resistant to corrosion, it is less durable than other types of stainless steel. Each type of stainless steel has its unique benefits and disadvantages. Some are better suited to certain types of situations.

Type 201

Type 201 stainless steel is unique as it was created in response to soaring nickel prices. This means that it is cheaper, but it also has much lower nickel content. Without as much nickel, it is not as effective at preventing corrosion.

The higher levels of manganese help make type 201 one of the strongest types of stainless steel banding. Industries that prefer this type are those looking for more durability at a lower cost and are not worried about exposure to corrosive elements.

Like type 304, this type is also commonly used to attach signs, and for other plumbing needs. Although it is not as resistant to corrosion, it still has good corrosion protection.

Type 201 stainless steel is especially helpful in cold environments, as its toughness holds up in cold weather. To make up for its lack of nickel, you’ll find its composed with more manganese and nitrogen.

As the cheapest type of stainless steel, type 201 seems the most appealing. Still, it will not hold up as long in highly corrosive environments.

Type 316

While type 201 has the lowest resistance to corrosion, and type 304 is more resistant, type 316 has the most. As you can probably guess, it has the high est nickel content.

Obviously, this high nickel content makes type 316 the most expensive type of stainless steel banding. For some industries, however, the cost is worth it.

Type 316 differs from type 304 in that it has molybdenum, an alloy that fights corrosion. Type 316 stainless steel is ideal for situations with more saline and chloride exposure.

While type 304 stainless steel seems like a more economical choice, it doesn’t have the same resistance to saline and chloride. This will lead it to break down faster, costing you more in the long run when you need to replace it.

Most people turn to type 316 stainless steel for outdoor and coastal applications. Of course, more severe environments will call for a higher grade of this type. Higher grades of type 316 stainless steel contain more chromium, making it more durable.

In addition to molybdenum and chromium, you can find nickel, titanium, aluminum, copper, nitrogen, phosphorous, and selenium alloys. These elements help make type 316 one of the best types of stainless steel overall.

The choice between types of stainless steel is entirely dependent on the application. In some cases, it is not cost effective to splurge on type 316 stainless steel. In other cases, the higher price point works out to save you more money in the long run.

Find Stainless Steel Banding

Moving a heavy load of materials requires top-notch branding to avoid any monetary losses. Stainless steel banding is the best choice for securing your merchandise.

However, while all stainless steel contains the same basic elements, not all stainless steel is creating equal. Each type of stainless steel has a different combination of metals, creating type 304, type 201, and type 316.

At Independent Metal Strap Co., Inc, we help businesses find the best type of stainless steel strapping for their needs. We provide readily available, high quality and cost-effective United States manufactured stainless steel banding. Contact us today to hear more about what we have to offer.