Special Steel 316/316L Stainless Steel

Table of Contents

Overview of Special Steel 316/316L Stainless Steel

Special Steel 316/316L Stainless Steel, often referred to as marine-grade stainless steel, are austenitic chromium-nickel stainless steels that contain molybdenum. This addition increases their corrosion resistance, especially against chlorides and other industrial solvents. Both alloys are known for their exceptional welding and forming characteristics, making them ideal for various industrial and marine applications.

Key Features of 316/316L Stainless Steel

  • Corrosion Resistance: Superior resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion in chloride environments.
  • Weldability: Excellent welding properties, with no need for post-weld annealing.
  • Strength: High tensile and creep strength at elevated temperatures.
  • Versatility: Suitable for a wide range of applications, from industrial machinery to medical devices.
Special Steel 316/316L Stainless Steel

Types and Composition of 316/316L Stainless Steel

TypeChemical Composition (wt%)
316C: ≤0.08, Si: ≤1.00, Mn: ≤2.00, P: ≤0.045, S: ≤0.030, Cr: 16.0-18.0, Mo: 2.0-3.0, Ni: 10.0-14.0
316LC: ≤0.03, Si: ≤1.00, Mn: ≤2.00, P: ≤0.045, S: ≤0.030, Cr: 16.0-18.0, Mo: 2.0-3.0, Ni: 10.0-14.0

Understanding the Differences Between 316 and 316L

The primary difference between 316 and 316L is their carbon content. 316L has a lower carbon content (≤0.03%), which enhances its corrosion resistance, particularly after welding. This makes 316L more suitable for applications requiring extensive welding.

Applications of 316/316L Stainless Steel

MarineBoat fittings, deck hardware, marine fasteners
Chemical ProcessingChemical and petrochemical equipment
Food and BeverageFood processing equipment, brewing tanks
MedicalSurgical instruments, orthopedic implants
ArchitecturalCoastal architectural features, handrails
EnergyOffshore oil and gas platforms, heat exchangers

Why Choose 316/316L for Your Applications?

When it comes to selecting the right material for demanding environments, 316 and 316L stainless steels stand out due to their impressive corrosion resistance, ease of fabrication, and high strength. Whether you’re dealing with the harsh marine atmosphere or the corrosive chemicals in a processing plant, these alloys are up to the task.

Specifications, Sizes, Grades, and Standards

ASTM StandardsASTM A240/A240M
Sizes AvailableSheets, Plates, Bars, Pipes, Tubes
Typical Grades316/316L, 316H, 316Ti
StandardsASTM, ASME, EN, ISO

Common Sizes and Shapes

316 and 316L stainless steels are available in a variety of forms to suit different needs, including:

  • Sheets and Plates: Thickness ranges from 0.5mm to 50mm.
  • Bars and Rods: Diameters range from 1mm to 500mm.
  • Pipes and Tubes: Various schedules and diameters, both seamless and welded.

Suppliers and Pricing Details

SupplierPrice Range (per kg)Country
ThyssenKrupp$5 – $7Germany
Outokumpu$6 – $8Finland
Aperam$5.50 – $7.50Luxembourg
Sandvik$6 – $8Sweden
AK Steel$5.50 – $7.50USA

Factors Influencing Pricing

The price of 316/316L stainless steel varies based on several factors:

  • Market Demand: Prices fluctuate with the global demand for stainless steel.
  • Raw Material Costs: Nickel and molybdenum prices heavily influence the cost.
  • Supplier Location: Shipping and logistics add to the overall cost.

Advantages and Disadvantages of 316/316L Stainless Steel

Excellent corrosion resistanceHigher cost compared to 304 stainless steel
Superior weldabilityHeavier than aluminum
High tensile strengthRequires more energy to process
Versatile and widely availableLimited machinability

Pros and Cons: 316 vs 316L

When choosing between 316 and 316L, consider the following:

  • 316: Better suited for high-temperature applications due to its higher carbon content.
  • 316L: Optimal for welding and environments with aggressive corrosion conditions due to its lower carbon content.

Detailed Descriptions of Metal Powder Models

  1. 316L Stainless Steel Powder (Fine Grade)
  • Description: Ultra-fine powder with high purity, ideal for additive manufacturing.
  • Applications: 3D printing of medical devices, aerospace components.
  • Properties: High strength, excellent flowability, low oxygen content.
  1. 316 Stainless Steel Powder (Coarse Grade)
  • Description: Coarser powder, suitable for traditional powder metallurgy applications.
  • Applications: Press and sinter processes, metal injection molding.
  • Properties: Good compressibility, uniform particle size distribution.
  1. Pre-alloyed 316L Powder
  • Description: Pre-alloyed powder ensuring homogeneity and consistency.
  • Applications: Complex part manufacturing in automotive and aerospace industries.
  • Properties: Superior corrosion resistance, excellent mechanical properties.
  1. Gas Atomized 316L Powder
  • Description: Produced through gas atomization for spherical particles.
  • Applications: Additive manufacturing, hot isostatic pressing.
  • Properties: High sphericity, minimal porosity, consistent particle size.
  1. Water Atomized 316L Powder
  • Description: Economical alternative with irregular particle shapes.
  • Applications: Powder metallurgy, thermal spraying.
  • Properties: Lower cost, good mechanical properties.
  1. 316L Surgical Grade Powder
  • Description: Ultra-pure powder designed for medical applications.
  • Applications: Orthopedic implants, surgical instruments.
  • Properties: Biocompatibility, corrosion resistance.
  1. 316L Powder for Binder Jetting
  • Description: Specifically formulated for binder jetting processes.
  • Applications: Binder jet 3D printing, complex part fabrication.
  • Properties: Excellent sintering behavior, high green strength.
  1. 316L Powder for Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF)
  • Description: Tailored for laser powder bed fusion 3D printing.
  • Applications: Precision parts for aerospace, automotive.
  • Properties: High flowability, uniform particle size distribution.
  1. 316L Powder for Electron Beam Melting (EBM)
  • Description: Optimized for electron beam melting 3D printing.
  • Applications: High-performance parts in demanding industries.
  • Properties: High sphericity, low residual stresses.
  1. Recycled 316L Powder
    • Description: Environmentally friendly option made from recycled materials.
    • Applications: General additive manufacturing, sustainable practices.
    • Properties: Comparable mechanical properties, cost-effective.

Comparison of Special Steel 316/316L Stainless Steel Models

ModelParticle ShapeProduction MethodApplicationsPrice Range
Fine Grade 316L PowderSphericalGas Atomization3D printing$50 – $70 per kg
Coarse Grade 316 PowderIrregularWater AtomizationPowder metallurgy$40 – $60 per kg
Pre-alloyed 316L PowderSphericalGas AtomizationComplex part manufacturing$55 – $75 per kg
Gas Atomized 316L PowderSphericalGas AtomizationAdditive manufacturing$60 – $80 per kg
Water Atomized 316L PowderIrregularWater AtomizationThermal spraying$30 – $50 per kg
Surgical Grade 316L PowderSphericalGas AtomizationMedical applications$70 – $90 per kg
316L for Binder JettingSphericalGas AtomizationBinder jet 3D printing$65 – $85 per kg
316L for LPBFSphericalGas AtomizationLaser powder bed fusion$60 – $80 per kg
316L for EBMSphericalGas AtomizationElectron beam melting$65 – $85 per kg
Recycled 316L PowderIrregularVariousGeneral additive manufacturing$35 – $55 per kg

Why Choose the Right Metal Powder Model?

Selecting the appropriate metal powder model is crucial for optimizing the performance and efficiency of your manufacturing process. Whether you need ultra-fine powder for high-precision 3D printing or a coarser grade for traditional powder metallurgy, there’s a model tailored to your specific needs.

Special Steel 316/316L Stainless Steel


What is the difference between 316 and 316L stainless steel?316L has a lower carbon content, enhancing its corrosion resistance and suitability for welding.
Can 316/316L stainless steel be used in marine environments?Yes, both 316 and 316L are highly resistant to corrosion in marine environments.
What are common applications for 316L stainless steel?Applications include medical devices, marine hardware, chemical processing equipment, and more.
How does 316L stainless steel perform in high temperatures?It maintains high strength and excellent corrosion resistance at elevated temperatures.
Is 316L stainless steel suitable for welding?Yes, it has excellent weldability and does not require post-weld annealing.
What is the typical price range for 316/316L stainless steel?Prices typically range from $5 to $8 per kg, depending on the supplier and specific requirements.
How does molybdenum enhance 316/316L stainless steel?Molybdenum improves corrosion resistance, particularly against chlorides and industrial solvents.
Are there different grades of 316L stainless steel powder?Yes, including fine grade, surgical grade, and grades tailored for specific 3D printing methods.
What are the advantages of gas atomized 316L powder?Gas atomized powder has high sphericity, minimal porosity, and consistent particle size, making it ideal for additive manufacturing.
Can 316L stainless steel be recycled?Yes, it can be recycled, and recycled 316L powder is available for sustainable manufacturing practices.


In conclusion, Special Steel 316 and 316L stainless steels are versatile and high-performance materials ideal for various industrial applications. Their superior corrosion resistance, weldability, and mechanical properties make them the go-to choice for demanding environments. Understanding the specific needs of your application and selecting the right grade and form of 316/316L stainless steel is crucial for maximizing performance and efficiency. Whether you’re in the marine industry, chemical processing, or additive manufacturing, these alloys offer the reliability and durability you need.

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