Friday, 27 January 2023

This chapter will discuss STX's most commonly used stainless steel grades, Austenitic 304 and 316. We will cover its main aspects and why it is the best option for the manufacture of a Harsh Environment Computer.

"Austenitic steels usually have the highest corrosion resistance. They contain 16 to 26 percent chromium and up to 35 percent nickel, and they are not hardenable by heat treatment and are nonmagnetic. The most common type is the 18/8, or 304, grade, which contains 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel." [1]  

Austenitic stainless steel is the largest and most commonly used grade of stainless steel by industries due to its ability to withstand high temperatures without losing its strength. It is also very malleable and can be bent, cut, and machined into different shapes with relative ease.

Its family name comes from the austenitic microstructure it possesses, which is face-centered cubic "...that is attained by the addition of further alloying addition to chromium and iron, such as nickel, manganese, carbon, and nitrogen." [3]

Ferrite / Austenite figure [img 1]
The ferritic stainless steel on the left has a body centered cubic (bcc) crystal structure. By adding nickel to this stainless steel the structure changes from bcc to face centered cubic (fcc), which is called austenitic.[4]

Comparing 304 and 316 Stainless Steel: Key Differences and Benefits

"When comparing 304 vs. 316 stainless steel, one major difference is resistance to chlorides such as salt. Grade 316 is more resistant to the elements, making it a more desirable stainless steel for things like maritime applications."[5]  

AISI 304 and 316 are both austenitic stainless steel grades. The main difference between the two lies in their molybdenum content. AISI 316 has around 2% molybdenum, which enhances its corrosion resistance, especially in environments with high chlorides, such as seawater or industrial processes.

Industrial computers should be selected based on both their functionality and operating environment. Both 304 and 316 grades are non-magnetic, making them the perfect choice for electronic and electrical applications where magnetic interference is a concern.


304 Stainless Steel is ideal for food processing facilities as they prevent ordinary rusting and protect against organic and inorganic substances. Composed of approximately 18% chromium and 8% nickel, it is resistant to corrosion, but not immune to it. This is especially true in harsh environments with high levels of moisture or salt, where 304 may become corroded over time.

Food products are processed in a sanitized environment under strict regulations in the food industry. The risk of corrosion can lead to contamination, endangering the product's production.
316 Stainless Steel, on the other hand, is a higher-grade stainless steel that contains a higher proportion of molybdenum, which gives it enhanced corrosion resistance compared to 304. This makes it a popular choice for applications that require improved protection against corrosion, such as marine equipment, coastal structures, and chemical processing plants. In addition to its corrosion resistance, 316 also has better strength and durability compared to 304.  


When choosing between 304 and 316, it is important to consider the specific requirements of the application, including the environment it will be used in, the type of chemicals it may come into contact with, and the desired level of protection against corrosion.

STX Waterproof Touch Computers use 304 and 316 stainless steel to withstand even the harshest industrial environments. Rugged and durable, they offer a reliable platform for every challenging need. 

As one of the leading industrial-grade PC producers in Australasia manufacturing Stainless Steel computers for over two decades, STX Technology is the first choice when looking for rugged computers.

You can find below some of our top-selling Waterproof Stainless Steel Computers.


X9000 Stainless Steel
Touch Computer

X7000 Stainless Steel
Touch Computer

X7500 Stainless Steel
Touch Computer


In the next post, the distinctions between Brushed and Electropolished Stainless Steel, exploring their features and usage scenarios.

We will explore the benefits of utilizing these finishes and why they are the optimal choice for manufacturing Touch Computers for Industrial & Harsh Environments.




Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "stainless steel". Encyclopedia Britannica, 5 Sep. 2022, Accessed 3 February 2023.

“The Stainless Steel Family.” Worldstainless, p. 1, Accessed 25 Jan. 2023.

Ahmad, Zaki. “Principles of Corrosion Engineering and Corrosion Control.”, Science Direct, 2006, Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

IMOA International Molybdenum Association. “Metallurgy of Mo in Stainless Steel.” IMOA, IMOA International Molybdenum Association, 2019, Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

The Federal Group USA. “Different Types of Stainless Steel | the Federal Group USA.”, The Federal Group USA, 10 June 2020, Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

“Design Guidelines for the Selection and Use of Stainless Steel.” Nickel Development Institute.

Image Courtesy

[img 1]
International Molybdenum Association

promotion banner
Contact STX Team! +61 (0)7 3036 7266
Need Help?

Give us a Call

Feel free to discuss any project-related questions you may have.

+61 (0)7 3036 7266
Quick quote request

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.