316/316L Stainless Steel

Type 316/316L Stainless Steel is a molybdenum steel possessing improved resistance to pitting by solutions containing chlorides and other halides.

316Ti Stainless steel pipes

In addition, it provides excellent elevated temperature tensile, creep and stress-rupture strengths.

Chemcial Composition - 316/316L stainless steel tubing and pipe

Grade 316 316L
UNS Designation S31600 S31603
Carbon (C) Max. 0.08 0.030*
Manganese (Mn) Max. 2.00 2.00
Phosphorous (P) Max. 0.045 0.045
Sulphur (S) Max. 0.030 0.030
Silicon (Si) Max. 1.00 1.00
Chromium (Cr) 16.0 – 18.0 16.0 – 18.0
Nickel (Ni) 10.0 – 14.0 10.0 – 14.0
Molybdenum (Mo) 2.0 – 3.0 2.0 – 3.0
Nitrogen (N)
Iron (Fe) Bal. Bal.
Other Elements

The main constituents of 316 stainless steel - other than iron - are Chromium and Nickel. However, it is the addition of 2% Molybdenum that provides the increased corrosion resistance.

316 contains 16 - 18% Chromium (Cr). Chromium is the essential chemical in all stainless steel and it is that which forms the thin passive layer that makes the metal "stainless"

316 also contains 10-14% Nickel (Ni). This is added to make the Austenitic structure more stable at normal temperatures. 

The nickel also improves high-temperature oxidation resistance makes the steel resistant to stress corrosion cracking.

Where the steel is to be stretched formed a lower percentage (8%) of nickel should be selected. If the steel is to be deep drawn a higher percentage is better (9% or more).

In addition a number of other chemicals may be present but these are expressed as maximum permited levels with the exception of the increased quantity of carbon required in 316H - i.e. a minimum of .04% and a maximum of 0.10%

Electrical Properties

Electrical Resistivity

7.2e-005 ohm-cm

7.2e-005 ohm-cm

at 20°C (68°F); 1.16E-04 at 650°C (1200°F)

Magnetic Permeability



at RT

Typical Mechanical Properties- Stainless Steel 316/316L

Material Form Tensile Strength (ksi) Yield Strength (ksi)
% Elongation Hardness HB
Alloy 316L 316L Sheet AMS 5507 100 max - 45


Alloy 316 316 Sheet AMS 5524 75 min 30 45 207 max
316L Stainless steel pipes

Physical Properties - 316/316L/316H stainless steel in the Annealed Condition at -20°F to +100°F

Alloy UNS Design
Spec. Tensile Strength Yield Strength
psi MPa ksi psi MPa ksi Elongation in 2 inches (min.) % Grain Size Req. Max. Hardness Modulus of Elasticity (x106 psi) Mean Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (IN./IN./°F x 10-6) Thermal
316 S31600 A249, A312 75,000 515 75 30,000 205 30 35 90 Rb 28.0 9.2 116
316L S31603 A270, A312 70,000 485 70 25,000 170 25 90 Rb 28.0 9.2 116
316H S31609 7 or coarser

Product Range - 316/316L Stainles steel

Alloy UNS Designation Werkstoff NR. Specifications*
316 S31600 1.4401 A269, A/SA249, A/SA312, A1016, A632, A/SA688
316L** S31603 1.4404 A269, A/SA249, A/SA312, A1016, A632, A/SA688

*Note: The specifications noted including ASTM, ASME, or other applicable authorities are correct at the time of publication. Other specifications may apply for use of these materials in different applications.

Design Features - 316/316L Stainless Steel

Typical Applications - Stainless Steel 316/316L

Tensile Requirements - Stainless Steel 316/316L

Tensile Strength (KSI): 70

Yield Strength (KSI): 25

KSI can be converted to MPA (Megapascals) by multiplying by 6.895.

Material stainless steel grades

Also known as "marine grade" stainless steel due to its increased ability to resist saltwater corrosion compared to type 304. SS316 is often used for building nuclear reprocessing plants.

304/304L Stainless Steel

304 Stainless is a low carbon (0.08% max) version of basic 18-8 also known as 302.

316/316L Stainless Steel

Type 316 is more resistant to atmospheric and other mild environments than Type 304.

310S Stainless Steel

310S Stainless Steel has excellent resistance to oxidation under constant temperatures to 2000°F.

317L Stainless Steel

317L is a molybdenum bearing austenitic chromium nickel steel similar to type 316, except the alloy content in 317L is somewhat higher.

321/321H Stainless Steel

Type 321 is basic type 304 modified by adding titanium in an amount at least 5 times the carbon plus nitrogen contents.

410 Stainless Steel

Type 410 is a martensitic stainless steel which is magnetic, resists corrosion in mild environents and has fairly good ductility.

Duplex 2205 (UNS S31803)

Duplex 2205 (UNS S31803), or Avesta Sheffield 2205 is a ferritic-austenitic stainless steel.

Duplex 2507 (UNS S32750)

Duplex 2507 (UNS S32750) is a super duplex stainless steel with 25% chromium, 4% molybdenum..


UNS S32760 is described as a super duplex stainless with a microstructure of 50:50 austenite and ferrite.

SA 269

ASTM A269 / A269M Standard Specification for Seamless and Welded Austenitic Stainless Steel Tubing for General Service

SA 249 Stainless Steel

ASME SA 249 Standard Specification for Welded Austenitic Steel Boiler,
Superheater, Heat-Exchanger, and Condenser Tubes.

904L Stainless steel

904L stainless steel consists of chromium, nickel, molybdenum and copper contents, these elements give type 904L stainless steel excellent properties

316 Stainless steel FAQs

Stainless steel 316 is an austenitic steel with excellent welding and forming characteristics.


It is the second most commonly used stainless steel and represents around 20% of the entire world production of stainless steel.

The key element that differentiates it from most other stainless steels is the inclusion of molybdenum, between 2% and 3%, which enhances its resistance corrosion in general and pitting corrosion in particular.

It is malleable and ductile and has good weldability. Its austenitic structure allows it to be deep drawn without intermediate annealing. It is also unnecessary to anneal it following welding thin sections.

However, the inclusion of molybdenum may have some adverse effects on its formability.

It is widely used in:

  • Chemical processing and storage equipment.
  • Refinery equipment
  • Medical devices
  • Marine environments, especially those with chlorides present

In its annealed state it is virtually non-magnetic even when cold worked, unlike 304 which can be significantly attracted to a magnet after cold working. This may make it more suitable in some applications.

What are its main benefits of 316?

The range of properties of 316 make it second only to 304 in quantity used and it is employed in many industries.

It is a good choice for architectural applications in coastal areas where there may be a significant amount of salt in the atmosphere however it is more expensive than 304 and is unnecessary away from the coast. Onboard seagoing vessels it is the natural choice for steel fittings whether on-deck or below.

It should also be considered for use in cold climates where significant amounts of de-icing salt is used on the roads. In these environments the level of salt in the atmosphere can be much higher than that found in coastal areas.

The combination of greater corrosion resistance and good formability make it a good choice food and beverage processing equipment; hot water systems; and plant for chemical, petrochemical, mineral processing if chlorides are likely to be present.

It should, however, be borne in mind that it is not as easily machined as other austenitic steels.

What are its main benefits of 304?

Corrosion Resistance

The major benefit of 316 is its increased corrosion resistance. In addition to its resistance to chlorides it is also highly resistant to sulfuric, and sulfurous acids, acetic acid, as well as many industrial chemicals and solvents. These types of corrosive process chemicals are used to make a wide variety of products including inks, textiles, photographic chemicals, paper, textiles, rubber, and bleaches.

You should be aware that there are limitations to 316's corrosion resistance and if it is being used in hostile environments care should be taken. It is generally safe to use in the offshore industry in northern European waters this is regarded as the maximum temperature at which it is safe to use for prolonged exposure to seawater.

The UK HSE has produced an excellent paper on the selection of stainless steels for the offshore industry. Click here.

Heat Resistance

316 resists oxidation well in intermittent exposure to temperatures up to 870oC and in continuous exposure to temperatures to 925oC.

It is not recommended for use in the 425oC to 860oC range if resistance to aqueous corrosion is required.

If there is a danger of intergranular corrosion 316L, the lower carbon form, is more resistant to carbide precipitation and should be considered.

316H provides greater strength at higher temperatures and is often used in high-pressure applications above 500oC. If there is a need to provide increased resistance to chlorides you should consider 316Ti. The addition of titanium results in the forming of titanium carbides rather than chromium carbide resulting in better resistance to intergranular corrosion.

What are the limitations 316?

The major drawback of 316 over 304 stainless steel is the increased cost - generally about 20% to 25% higher. However, when considering cost the "whole-life" cost should be calculated and the increased corrosion resistance of 316 may result in it producing a considerable saving.

Stress Corrosion Cracking

Austenitic stainless steels can be subject to stress corrosion cracking but 316 is generally more resistant particularly at ambient temperatures. However, there have been some curious examples of stress corrosion cracking that are worth bearing in mind.

In continuously high humidity environments in the presence of halides stress corrosion cracking at ambient temperatures has been noted. at least one swimming pool roof has collapsed as a consequence.

It should be emphasised the the production of a good surface finish and good welding techniques do much to reduce the vulnerability of all forms of corrosion.

Variants - 316L, 316H & 316Ti

The two main variants of grade 316 are the low carbon form 316L and the high carbon form 316H

316L has a maximum of 0.30% carbon. This reduces the tendency for carbide precipitation when welding. Carbide precipitation can result in intergranular corrosion.

316H has between 0.04 and 0.1% carbon. This gives it greater strength at high temperature but does make it more vulnerable to carbide precipitation when welding.

If avoidance of carbide precipitation is important then the use of 316Ti, which has Titanium added to it, may be the answer. The titanium combines with the carbon forming titanium carbides, in preference to the chromium preserving the passive layer.

In common with 304, 316 has a maximum of 0.08% carbon, there are potential overlaps in the specifications which means that it is not uncommon to find dual specification.

316L having less than 0.08% carbon it can, therefore, be described as 316/316L.

316 may have up to 0.08% carbon so if its carbon content is between 0.04 and 0.08% carbon it may be described as 316/316H.

Forms available

Stainless 316, 316H, 316L Forms Available

  • Tube
  • Pipe
  • Fittings
  • Flanges
  • Special Sections
  • Sheet
  • Plate
  • Flat Bar
  • Round Bar
  • Hollow Bar
  • Angles
  • i Beam
  • U Channel