304L (CF-3) Stainless Steel Investment Castings

304 stainless steel investment cast part

Stainless steel castings are tough and naturally corrosion-resistant, thanks to nickel and a high proportion of chromium that forms an oxidizing layer on the surface. 304L is a grade of stainless steel with lower carbon content and an austenitic structure. It’s a preferred material for engineers in the food and beverage, oil and gas, and chemical industries because of its natural corrosion resistance, toughness, and exceptional strength at high temperatures.


304L stainless steel is composed of iron plus carbon (0.08% maximum), manganese (2% maximum), phosphorous (0.045% maximum), sulfur (0.035 maximum), silicon (0.75% maximum), chromium (18-20%), nickel (8-12%), and nitrogen (0.10% maximum). 

304L is commonly treated via solution annealing to further improve its mechanical properties.

Mechanical Properties (After Annealing)

Tensile Strength (PSI)Yield Strength (PSI)% ElongationHardness (Rb)


Barron Industries can produce 304L stainless steel investment castings meet ASTM A351 specifications for pressure-containing parts and MIL-S-81591 for military and defense applications.

Advantages & Limitations of 304L

Castings made from 304L stainless steel are tough and durable in challenging environments. Its primary advantages include:

  • Exceptional Chemical Resistance
  • Good Strength at High Temperatures
  • High Toughness
  • Good Weldability

There are also some limitations to 304L, including potential degradation when exposed to salt water and low machinability. This last factor is why investment casting is often the most practical manufacturing route.


304L stainless steel investment castings are used extensively in the food and beverage manufacturing industries because they can withstand harsh environments. They’re also a popular choice in the nuclear and oil and gas production sectors because of their exceptional corrosion resistance.

Other common applications include:

  • Manifolds
  • Flanges
  • Impellers
  • Valve Bodies
  • Food Processing Equipment

Contact Barron Industries Today

Have questions? Barron Industries is ready to help. Founded in 1923, we’re a full-service manufacturer serving clients globally. We specialize in helping clients in the aerospace, defense, automotive, oil and gas, nuclear, medical, and commercial industries. To ensure quality, we’re also AS 9100- and ISO 9001-certified and accredited by Nadcap for non-destructive testing and welding.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of 304L stainless steel investment castings please fill out our online form.