What is the Density of Stainless Steel?

stainless steel density

The density is defined as the specific amount of any substance that lies in the defined space.

The density is directly linked with the material’s mass and volume.

The scientific definition of density is mass per unit volume, and the formula of density is written as p= m/v. In this formula, p shows the density, and it is equal to the m (mass) divided by v (volume).

Due to the difference in densities, a stainless steel pin sinks in the water and a large wooden ship floats. This is because the steel pin is denser than water; therefore, it can’t float in the water. On the other hand, the wooden ship is denser than water, so it can easily float on the surface of water.

The density of stainless steel is usually higher than other materials like aluminum and titanium. Aluminum is one the lightest materials and its density is one-third the density of stainless steel.

The density of plain steel is approximately 490 pounds per cubic foot, and this can also be represented as 7.85 g/cm3. Carbon steel has a density of around 7.84 g/cm3, pure iron is about 7.86 g/cm3, and stainless steel is about 8.03 g/cm3.

The density of stainless steel varies slightly depending on its grade and chemical composition.

If you want to learn more about the stainless steel density, this article is very helpful for you.

Let’s keep reading.

304 stainless steel density

The most common grade of stainless steel is 304-stainless steel, which has 18%-20% chromium and 8%-10.5% nickel.

Because of its composition of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, it is sometimes known as “18/8” stainless steel.

This alloy is resistant to the majority of corrosion.

The density of 304-grade stainless steel is about 7930 kg/m3 or 7.93 g/cm3. The density of 304 is less than 316 and slightly more than grade 430 stainless steel, which is 7.75 g/cm3.

Density of 316 Stainless Steel

density of 316 stainless steel

Grade 316 has 16%-18% chromium and 10%-14% nickel, ranking second in importance to 304 among austenitic stainless steels.

The density of 316 stainless steel is about 7980 kg/m3 or 7.98 g/cm3. This grade is slightly denser than grade 304.

Grade 316 has stronger overall corrosion resistance than grade 304, particularly higher resistance.

Because of its corrosion resistance, grade 316 can be used in difficult conditions like marine and chemical environments.

How to Calculate the Density of Stainless Steel? 

To find the density of stainless steel, you must first know its mass and the volume it fills.

We can easily calculate the density of stainless steel by dividing the mass of steel by its total volume.

The following formula is generally used for calculating stainless steel density:

Density of stainless steel (p) = mass of stainless steel (m) / volume of stainless steel (v)

For example, if you have a piece of steel with a mass of 18 kilograms and a volume of 3 cubic meters, its density is:
Steel density = 18 kg / 3 m3 = 6 kg/m3

Stainless Steel Density Conversion, kg/m3, g/cm3 and lbs/in3

Stainless steel density is calculated by dividing the total mass of steel by the total volume and is commonly measured in g/cm3, kg/m3, and lbs/in3. Each unit can be converted to another.

The following table shows the conversion of stainless steel density:










Stainless Steel Density Data Sheet

GRADEDENSITY ( g/cm3 )DENSITY ( kg/m3 )DENSITY ( lb/in3 )

Why does density matter?

The density is an important factor for designing and manufacturing new products because every metal has a different density.

Low-density material is also less in weight, while higher in density is higher in weight.

This becomes even more important when designing critical and heavy products like airplanes or ships.

Density is also important when metallurgists combine two metals to form an alloy. Steel is a chemical alloy that consists of iron, carbon, and other elements.

Different varieties of steel are made up of different chemical compositions.

Stainless steel, for example, includes at least 10.5% chromium, whereas carbon steel contains less. As a result, plan steel has a little different density than stainless steel.

Density influences the strength, toughness, and malleability of the material created while forming a new grade of steel or welding one type of steel to another.

How to use your knowledge of density while selecting materials 

When you are selecting a material for your project, while you are concerned about its mechanical strength, ductility, corrosion resistance, and other physical properties, you should also keep in mind its density because density plays a vital role in selecting the proper material.

Density is especially significant in applications where weight is an important factor.

If engineers need to regulate the weight of an object, they will go for a low-density product. However, they must also evaluate the strength-to-weight ratio to ensure that the product’s material is strong enough to complete the job.

Steel is an extremely dense alloy that is far stronger than many other metals. The corrosion resistance and visual appeal of stainless steel make it a popular choice for everything from cookware to surgical supplies.

Density Relations with Temperature and Pressure 

Pressure is directly proportional to density, and temperature is inversely proportional to density.

Density increases when pressure rises while temperature remains constant. While the temperature rises while pressure remains constant, density reduces.

For example, when a gas is filled in a cylinder with high pressure, the gas molecules are compressed and occupy less space.

Its density increases; therefore, more gas is filled in the cylinder.

On the other hand, if the gas filling pressure is low, then density also decreases because pressure is directly proportional to density.

Stainless Steel Weight Calculate 

Stainless steel weight is calculated based on density; the higher the density, the greater the weight; that is why some grades of stainless steel are slightly lighter than other grades of stainless steel under identical conditions.

For example, the density of 304 is less than that of grade 316, which means the grade 304 stainless steel is lighter than grade 316 in the weight calculations. 


In conclusion, density is a very important property of stainless steel, which can never be ignored while selecting the material for a specific task.

It is directly linked with some other factors like pressure, temperature, weight, mass, and volume.  

Suppose you have any query about the density of stainless steels and nickel based superalloys. You should contact our team and share your project’s details. Our staff will guide you briefly from start to end.


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