316L is a low carbon-chromium-nickel-molybdenum austenitic stainless steel with good strength and excellent corrosion resistance, as supplied in the annealed condition with a typical brinell hardness of 175.Characterised by high corrosion resistance in marine and industrial atmospheres, it exhibits excellent resistance to chloride attack and against complex suphur compounds employed in the pulp and paper processing industries. The addition of 2% to 3% of molybdenum increases its resistance to pitting corrosion and improves its creep resistance at elevated temperatures. The low carbon content reduces the risk of intergranural corrosion (Due to carbide precipitation) during welding, reducing the need for post weld annealing. Finally it displays good oxidation resistance at elevated temperatures.

316L cannot be hardened by thermal treatment, but strength and hardness can be increased substantially by cold working, with susequent reduction in ductility.

It is now available with improved machinability (by calcium injection treatment), which has little effect on corrosion resistance and weldability while greatly increasing feeds and/or speeds, plus extending tool life.

It is used extensively by the Marine, Chemical, Pulp and Paper, Textile, Transport, Manufacturing and allied industries.


Application field

316L Stainless Steel Casting is particularly useful if exposure to salt, chlorides or chlorinated solutions is an issue. When deciding if 316L is the correct type of stainless steel for your project, make sure to account for both the process and the environmental factors of the application. Common industries and applications include:

· Aerospace Structures

· Food processing equipment

· Brewery equipment

· Pulp and paper processing equipment used for its resistant properties to sulfurous acids

· Oil & petroleum refining equipment

· Chemical transportation containers

· Textile Industry Equipment

· Laboratory benches & equipment

· Boat fittings

· Heat exchangers

· Marine Environments

· Pharmaceuticals

· Surgical Equipment

· Housings


Elevated Temperature Properties

316L displays good oxidation resistance in continuous service up to 930 oC, and in intermittent service up to 870 oC.Due to its low carbon content it is also less susceptable to carbide precipitation resulting in intergranular corrosion when heated or slow cooled through the temperature range 430 oC - 870 oC either in service or during welding.

There is however a reduction in mechanical properties as temperature increases.

Low Temperature Properties

316L as with all of the 300 series austenitic stainless steels has excellent low temperature properties, with increased tensile and yield strength without loss of toughness in the annealed condition


Corrosion Resistance

General Corrosion

316L has better resistance to general corrosion in most media than 310, 304, 321, 302 and 303 grades.

Pitting Corrosion

316L has higher resistance to pitting corrosion than the non molybdenum bearing grades such as 304, 321, 310 and 303 etc..

Stress Corrosion Cracking

316L has a better resistance to stress corrosion cracking in chloride solutions than 302 or 304 grades, however it can also fail if subjected to high stresses in an environment conducive to stress corrosion.

Intergranular Corrosion

316L due to its low carbon content has greater resistance to intergranular corrosion than all the austenitic stainless steel grades except 304L grade and 321 titanium stabilized grade.

Crevice Corrosion

316L has a higher resistance to crevice corrosion than the non molybdenum bearing grades such as 304, 321, 310 and 303 etc..N.B. It is most important that oxygen is always allowed to circulate freely on all stainless steel surfaces to ensure that a chrome oxide film is always present to protect it. If this is not the case, rusting will occur as with other types of non stainless steels.

For optimum corrosive resistance, surfaces must be free of scale and foreign particles.
Finished parts should be passivated.