SAE 904L stainless steel

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904L is an austenitic stainless steel. In comparison to 316L, its molybdenum addition gives it superior resistance to localized attack (pitting and crevice corrosion) by chlorides and greater resistance reducing acids and in particular its copper addition gives it useful corrosion resistance to all concentrations of sulphuric acid. Its high alloying content also gives it greater resistance to chloride stress corrosion cracking, but it is still susceptible. Its low carbon content makes it resistant to sensitization by welding and which prevents intergranular corrosion.[1][2][3][4]

It has applications in piping systems, pollution control equipment, heat exchangers, and bleaching systems.[5]

In 1985 Rolex became the first wristwatch manufacturer to utilize 904L grade steel in its watches.[6] Rolex chose to use this variety of steel because it takes a higher polish than other grades of steel and provides greater corrosion resistance, though it does not machine as well and requires specialized equipment to be properly modified into the required shapes.


Other names[edit]

  • UNS N08904
  • DIN 1.4539
  • SUS 904L
  • SS2562


  1. ^ "904L Datasheet" (PDF). Atlas Steels.
  2. ^ "904L Datasheet" (PDF). Rolled Alloys.
  3. ^ "904L Datasheet" (PDF). ATI Metals.
  4. ^ "Stainless Steel - Grade 904L (UNS N08904)". 2001-11-07. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  5. ^ "Stainless Steel 904L Manufacturer, Supplier, Stockist, Exporter". Ritinox Overseas. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  6. ^ Jahn Karsybaev (9 April 2016), Watches: How to Design, Manufacture and Build a Brand,, p. 48, ISBN 978-1-365-03518-0