304 is the basic chromium-nickel austenitic stainless steel and has been found suitable for a wide range of applications. It is the most readily available in a variety of product forms. This grade is easy to form and fabricate with excellent resistance to corrosion.
316 offers more corrosion-resistance through the addition of molybdenum. The grade is desirable where the possibility of severe corrosion exists, such as heavy industrial, marine and de-icing environments.
430 is a straight chromium ferritic stainless steel with lower corrosion resistance than the 300 series. It is principally employed for interior use and is magnetic.