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303 Stainless Steel Rise In Popularity

Grade 303 stainless steel is used to make bolts and nuts, aviation fittings, screws, gears, shafts, bushings, and electrical boxes.

Grade 303 Stainless Steel

303 stainless steel

Choosing the suitable material for every application is essential, especially those intended for corrosion and heat resistance, wash-down, or strength. There are several grades of stainless steel, each with its standards. The most common and cost-effective option is grade 303.

The steel is among the most popular steel grades available. Its popularity continues to expand worldwide because of it’s benefits to customers. In today’s world, it is useful in many industries. In addition to construction and conventional usage, this grade is also useful in the household industries. 

This steel is less expensive than low-carbon steel, but its excellent performance increases longevity and lowers life cycle costs.

Grade 303 stainless steel is austenitic, non-magnetic steel that cannot be hardened by thermal treatment. It has high machinability due to the presence of sulfur or selenium. Grade 303 is more machinable than similar metals while maintaining mechanical solid and corrosion-resistant qualities. In reality, the sulfur presence increases its machinability among other stainless steel of the austenitic family. 

However, while the sulfur reduces the corrosion resistance of stainless steel 303 round bar marginally, its hardness makes it an excellent option for highly machined items. Grade 303 stainless steel makes bolts, nuts, aviation fittings, screws, gears, shafts, bushings, and electrical boxes.


Chromium (Cr) 

Nickel (Ni) 

Manganese (Mn) 

Copper (Cu) 

Silicon (Si) 

Nitrogen (N) 

Carbon (C) 

Phosphorous (P) 

Sulphur (S) 

Iron (Fe) 

% Present

17.00 – 19.00

8.00 – 10.00

(Mn) 2.00

(Cu) 1.00

(Si) 1.00

(N) 0.10

(C) 0.10

(P) 0.045

(S) 0.015 – 0.35

(Fe) Balance

General Properties

Physical Properties


Thermal Expansion

Melting Point

Modulus of Elasticity 

Electrical Resistivity 

Thermal Conductivity 

8.03 kg/m3

17.2 x 10-6 /K

1455 °C

193 GPa

0.072 x 10-6 Ω .m


Mechanical Properties

Tensile Strength 

Comprehensive Strength Min 

Hardness Brinell Max 

Elongation Min %

500-750 MPa

 190 MPa

230 HB



Grade 303 ground bar stock is useful in applications requiring heavy machining. Following are some of the applications:

● Screws

● Nuts & bolts

● Aircraft fittings

● Gears

● Shafts

● Bushings

You can buy grade 303 from a round bar supplier like Forte Metals for any of the abovementioned applications.

Reason Behind 303 Stainless Steel Popularity

303 stainless steel

The following are some reasons why 303 stainless steel is a popular stainless steel grade:

Corrosion Resistance

Pitting corrosion is possible by additions of sulfur in the composition. It reduces grade 303 stainless steel corrosion resistance to grade 304 stainless steel bar stock. Grade 303 has better Corrosion resistance than 416 ground bar stock, but it isn’t quite as good as other stainless steel in the 400 series that don’t have as much sulfur. However, in mild conditions, corrosion resistance is excellent. 

303 stainless steel is susceptible to crevice and pitting corrosion in chloride-containing conditions above 60°C. 

Heat Resistance

Grade 303 stainless steel offers strong oxidation resistance when exposed to up to 760°C for short periods. In continuous use at 870°C, it also possesses high oxidation resistance. However, 303 is prone to carbide precipitation when used continuously between 425-860°C.


Stainless steel bar stocks must be fabricated using tools designed specifically for stainless steel. Before use, all devices and work areas must be well-cleaned. These measures are essential to prevent stainless steel 303 round bar cross-contamination by readily corroded metals, which might discolor the fabricated product’s surface.

Cold Forming

303 is difficult to work or cold form hard. Although some cold forming is feasible, sharp bending must be avoided. The high sulfur presence in grade 303 negatively influences its cold formability. 

Hot Forming

Fabrication procedures that require hot working, such as forging, should occur after consistent heating between 1149-1260°C. To guarantee optimal corrosion resistance, the produced components must be immediately chilled. Grade 303’s high sulfur presence negatively influences its hot workability. 

Heat Treatment

Thermal treatment will not harden this steel. Rapid cooling following heating around 1010-1120°C might be used for annealing or solution treatment.


The machinability of grade 303 stainless steel ground bar stock is outstanding. The inclusion of sulfur helps split up turnings and decreases cutting tool wear. Tiny brittle chips are produced and can be processed at high rates with heavy feeds and deep cuts. Also, the following guidelines can help you improve your machining:

● The cutting edges should be razor-sharp. Dull edges cause excessive work hardening.

● Light and deep cuts must be made to avoid work or strain hardening through riding on a material’s surface.

● Chip breaker help keep the swarf out of the way of the job.

● Austenitic alloys’ low heat conductivity causes heat to concentrate at cutting edges. Lubricants and coolants are therefore required and should be employed in huge quantities.


For welding purposes, grade 303 is generally not advised. Weldability is low in this stainless steel due to the sulfur content. If Grade 303 stainless steel is to be welded, 309 and

303 stainless steel round bar supplier suggests 308L stainless steel bar stock. The welds should be annealed for the best corrosion resistance.

Get 303 Stainless Steel Now For Your Upcoming Project

Now that you know the properties, uses, and reasons for 303 stainless steel’s popularity, you may get it from Forte Metals, the well-known 303 stainless steel round bar supplier, for your next project if it meets your requirements.

At Forte Metals, you’ll discover the appropriate stainless steel alloy, regardless of your industrial use. We take pleasure in being a professional resource partner for our customers. That means we’ll do everything we can to assist you in choosing a suitable material for your project. Contact us today or request a quote!

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Forte Precision Metals provide Precision Ground Bars & Centerless Ground services nationally and worldwide
Forte Percision Metals, Inc.
9234 Parklane Ave. Franklin Park, IL 60131
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