The Ultimate Guide for 302 Stainless Steel

302 Stainless Steel

In this guide, you will get more knowledge about 302 stainless steel.

We will be covering everything from its manufacture and chemical composition to its physical properties and welding techniques.

Now let’s start expanding your knowledge!

What is Stainless Steel 302?

Stainless steel 302 is considered the most common and cost-effective stainless steel alloy.

Like other grades, grade 302 is also known for its excellent formability, rust-proof, and high strength-to-weight ratio. With all these qualities, it became preferred in most applications, such as producing medical equipment, chemical processing instruments, etc.

If you are wondering how to identify grade 302 on the market, you should look for the grade markings stamped on the material. These markings will typically include the letters “SS302”. Additionally, if the material has a brushed or polished finish, it may be marked with a “BA” or “2B” finish, indicating that it is stainless steel 302 product. But if not marked, you can also perform a visual inspection or a spark test.

The Development History

You need to be knowledgeable about the history of the material, from when it was developed and until today.

Knowing the history can help you make better decisions on how to use it in a particular application or project.

Period of Time
The early 1990s The earliest development of 302 stainless steel dates back to the early 1900s. At that time, the alloys used to create stainless steel were limited and the use of SS302 was limited to applications where corrosion resistance was of major importance.
1920s In the 1920s, advances in metallurgy led to the development of more highly alloyed stainless steels, including 302. This allowed for greater corrosion resistance, strength, and ductility, making it a more versatile material.
1939-1945 (World War II) During World War II, the demand for stainless steel increased significantly, and stainless steel 302 was widely used in various military applications.
1950s In the 1950s, the development of austenitic stainless steel grades, such as 304 and 316, allowing for improved properties and greater corrosion resistance. However, the use of 302 is still widespread in many applications.
Current Period Today, the stainless steel 302 is used in a variety of industries, from aerospace to kitchen utensils.

Chemical Composition

It is important that you know the 302 stainless steel composition. As it affects the mechanical properties and corrosion resistance of the material. Also, knowing it can help you to ensure that the steel is suited for the intended application.

Here we compiled the composition details.

Chromium (Cr) 17.00-19.00%
Iron (Fe) Balance
Nickel (Ni) 8.00-10.00%
Manganese (Mn) 2.00%
Carbon (C) 0.15%
Silicon (Si) 1.00%
Phosphorus (P) 0.045%
Sulfur (S) 0.030%

Mechanical & Physical Characteristics

Mechanical & Physical Characteristics

The stainless steel 302 is a stainless steel alloy with excellent mechanical and physical characteristics, such as the following:

Mechanical Characteristics

  • 302 stainless steel has a tensile strength of 810 MPa and 434 MPa yield strength.
  • It also has an elongation at a break of 20%. This alloy is good for forming, machining, and welding.
  • Grade 302 has a high strength-to-weight ratio and can be cold-worked to increase its strength and hardness.

Physical Characteristics

  • Grade 302 has 8.0 g/cm3 density and 69.6 μΩ cm electrical resistance.
  • It also has a thermal conductivity of 18.9 W/mK and 500 J/kgK specific heat capacity.
  • Its melting point is 1454°C and its coefficient of thermal expansion is 17.9 μm/mK.

Dos/Don’ts When Dealing 302 Stainless Steel

Knowing the dos and don’ts will help you to ensure that you are using the material properly and safely. Because proper using of this material will extend its life and ensure that it performs as intended.

Here are the following dos and don’ts.

Make sure you use the right tools and machinery when working with 302 stainless steel. This includes using drill bits, saws, and other cutting tools that are specifically designed to handle stainless steel. Don’t use regular steel cutting or drilling tools on 302-grade stainless steel, as this causes damage to the material.
Follow all safety protocols when working with this stainless steel. Wear protective clothing, safety glasses, and gloves. Don’t use abrasive cleaners or harmful chemicals on the stainless steel, as they can corrode the material.
Use lubricants on your tools when cutting or drilling through the material to prevent it from becoming scratched or damaged. Don’t weld the stainless steel without the use of shielding gas.
Clean and maintain the 302 stainless steel regularly to prevent rust and corrosion. Don’t leave the stainless steel in direct contact with other metal surfaces, as this can cause rusting.
Use proper storage methods for the stainless steel to keep it in good condition. Don’t use the stainless steel 302 in any application where it will come into contact with water containing chloride ions. Chloride ions can cause rusting and pitting of the steel.

302 VS 304 Stainless Steel

302 VS 304 Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is available in several grades, including 302 and 304. While both of them have similar properties and compositions, there are some differences between them.

Consider these factors.

  • Chromium Content. The 304 stainless steel has higher chromium content. This makes the steel more resistant to various corrosions.
  • High Strength. The 302 grade has slightly lower strength and hardness than 304, but it still offers good anti-corrosion performance. Its low content of chromium makes it more susceptible to corrosion, so it is not recommended for outdoor applications.
  • Chemical Composition. In terms of chemical composition, grade 302 contains higher levels of carbon, while 304 has higher levels of chromium. The 302 grade also has a higher level of nickel than the 304 grade.
  • When it comes to cost, grade 302 is more expensive than 304. This is due to the higher levels of carbon, nickel, and chromium found in the 302 grade.

302 Stainless Steel VS 316: The Dissimilarities

Stainless steel in grades 316 and 302 are both non-hardenable, non-magnetic, and austenitic. However, there are important differences between them that need to figure out.

The primary difference between these two grades is their composition. Grade 302 is composed of 18-20% (Cr), 8-10% (Ni), and 0.15% (C). Grade 316, on the other hand, contains 16-18% (Cr), 10-14% (Ni), and 2-3% molybdenum.

Another key difference is their resistance to high temperatures. Grade 302 has a higher melting point than grade 316. It means the higher the melting point, the less suitable for high-temperature applications.

Both grades also differ in terms of cost. Grade 302 is less expensive compared to 316. It is due to its lower chromium content and lower production costs.


To help you set a budget and avoid overspending, we recommend you know the estimated price first. And the price of 302 stainless steel is usually based on size.

By Sizes USD Rate
0.25″ x 12″ x 12″ $21.90
0.375″ x 12″ x 12″ $31.50
0.5″ x 12″ x 12″ $41.30
0.625″ x 12″ x 12″ $50.80
0.75″ x 12″ x 12″ $60.20
1″ x 12″ x 12″ $79.40
1.25″ x 12″ x 12″ $98.30
1.5″ x 12″ x 12″ $117.00
2″ x 12″ x 12″ $156.50


We wish this guide has been useful in helping you understand the unique characteristics of 302 stainless steel.

With its wide range of useful properties, you can find it a great choice for a variety of industries, from food processing to automotive. Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge, you can make better decisions when considering this material for your next project.

Whenever you need a reliable supplier in China, we can be the best partners!

One Stop Stainless Steel Supply.

Whether you need stainless steel materials for your business or fabrication projects, TuoLian is your best supplier. You can find all types, grades, and thicknesses based on your needs. Guaranteed that we provide the best quality at a reasonable cost.
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