"304 and stress releiving"


"My question centers around 304 stainless steel stress relieving.I would like to stress relieve a 304 weldment in my own furnace.I can only seem to find a process specification for a full anneal @1900'F with a rapid quench.I don't believe I need to do this to a stainless steel weldment.I am not using 304L,and I just want to be able to hold tight machined tolerances after welding.Experimenting on some smaller parts I heated them to 800'F for 1 hour and let them cool to room temperature.The parts machined like butter and did not move after this.Is this low temperature doing anything to my metal or am I just kidding myself?"


The austenitic stainless steels, i.e., 304SS, 316SS are normally not "stress relieved" due to the reduced corrosion resistance these alloys exhibit in corrosive media, resulting from exposure to temperatures between ~800-1500F. If you have no corrosion concerns, based on the intended service, then you can certainly stress relieve instead of conducting a solution anneal.


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