Grade 316 is a popular stainless steel alloy belonging to the austenitic family. It is known for its 2-3% molybdenum content, making the alloy resistant to pitting and corrosion. It also improves its corrosion resistance on exposure to elevated temperatures. Type 316 is marine-grade stainless steel, and the presence of molybdenum makes it suitable for more saline or chloride-exposed environments.
316 stainless steel has various industrial applications that involve processing chemicals and high-saline environments like coastal areas and environments where de-icing salts are common. The non-reactive properties of Grade 316 also render it valuable in the manufacture of medical surgical equipment to avoid excessive metallic contamination. 316 stainless steel tube is an austenitic chromium-nickel stainless similar to type 304, and the significant difference lies in its Mo content. Grade 316 is durable, easy to fabricate, weld, clean, and finish.
Difference between 316 and 316L
Stainless Steel 316 (S31600) consists of 2 to 3% molybdenum by weight, improving its corrosion resistance. It can resist pitting and crevice corrosion in chloride environments. It has high creep strength and higher corrosion resistance than 302 and 304.
Stainless Steel 316L (S31603) has lower carbon content than stainless steel 316. It is highly immune to grain boundary carbide precipitation (or sensitization). It requires extensive welding. It is highly suitable for use in heavy gauge welded components.
Physical Properties of 316 and 316L Steels
- Density: 0.799g/cubic centimeter
- Melting Range: 2,500–2,550° Fahrenheit (1,371–1,399° Celsius)
- Electrical resistivity: 74 microhm-centimeters (20° Celsius)
- Thermal conductivity: 16.2 Watts/meter-Kelvin (100° Celsius)
- Specific Heat: 0.50 kiloJoules/kilogram-Kelvin (0–100° Celsius)
- Modulus of Elasticity (MPa): 193 x 103 in tension
Common uses for 316 stainless steels
- Marine equipment
- Industrial equipment, including pharmaceutical manufacturing and chemical manufacturing
- Cisterns and pipes for chemical applications
- Medical equipment
- Industrial and chemical transportation
- Pressure vessels
- Commercial kitchens
- Outdoor site furnishings
- Commercial appliances
- Food production and processing in saline environments
Benefits of Grade 316 Stainless Steel
Grade 316 offers high strength and versatility, making it suitable for long-lasting custom wire baskets. The durable baskets can survive constant exposure to high-impact processes.
Seawater and salt air can damage metals. The presence of chlorides, like salt, can eat away even the most rigid metals. Salt also affects the protective oxide layer of stainless steel, making them rust. Grade 316 is ideal for marine applications or processes that involve chlorides. It also shows resistance to salt and chloride pitting. It is suitable for naval applications.
The molybdenum content in grade 316 stainless steel renders it more corrosion resistant than similar alloys. Molybdenum helps reduce pitting from chemical environments, making it suitable for use in highly acidic and caustic environments. Grade 316 can withstand caustic solutions and corrosive applications. It is also ideal for pharmaceutical and medical applications. Grade 316 can prevent rust in different corrosive environments or media. It is susceptible to stress corrosion cracking above 60°C.
You should know a few essential things about grade 316 of austenitic stainless steel. The presence of chromium and nickel and a bit of molybdenum in the mix makes it a precious alloy with excellent corrosion resistance, pitting resistance, and machinability. These properties have highly improved their commercial importance.