What is 316 Stainless Steel?
The melting temperature range of stainless steel grade 316 is 1,371°C to 1,399°C (1,371°F – 2,550°F). Due to its austenitic composition, austenitic stainless steel has high strength, corrosion resistance, and chromium and nickel content. The alloy has a tensile strength of 579 MPa (84 ksi) and a maximum use temperature of around 800˚C (1,472˚F).
Molybdenum has also been added to grade 316, which helps the alloy resist corrosion caused by acids, alkalis, and chlorides.
316 Stainless Steel Properties
Grade 316 steel comes in a close second to 304 stainless steel in terms of commonality. With similar physical and mechanical properties to grade 304, it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between the two with the naked eye. Grade 316 differs primarily in its material composition:
- 16% chromium
- 10% nickel
- 2% molybdenum
Grade 316 stainless steel costs more per ounce than grade 304 stainless steel because it contains more nickel and molybdenum. The main advantage of grade 316 stainless is its superior corrosion resistance, especially against chlorides and chlorinated solutions. The corrosion-resistant properties of grade 316 stainless make it particularly desirable for applications with exposure to salt or other powerful corrosives.
Grade 316 steel is commonly used in the following applications:
- Stainless steel baskets
- Marine parts
- Outdoor electrical enclosures
- Medical-surgical instruments
- Pharmaceutical equipment
- Chemical equipment