ThePipingMart Blog Grades 316 Stainless Steel-Material, Properties, Composition, Uses

316 Stainless Steel-Material, Properties, Composition, Uses

Stainless steel 316

What is Grade 316 Stainless Steel?

Grade 316 stainless steel is a highly versatile material. It has a unique combination of chemical, physical, and mechanical properties that make it an ideal choice for many applications. In this post, we’ll discuss the uses, chemical and physical properties, mechanical properties, corrosion resistance, heat resistance, heat treatment procedures, welding techniques, and machining processes associated with grade 316 stainless steel.

SS 316 chemical composition

Grade 316 stainless steel contains 16-18% chromium and 11-14% nickel content which provides better corrosion resistance than conventional 304-grade stainless steel. It also has molybdenum content which gives it greater pitting and crevice corrosion resistance compared to austenitic grades of stainless steel. Additionally, it contains small amounts of manganese which helps to improve formability and weldability.

Grade C Mn Si P S Cr Mo Ni N
316 Min 0 16.0 2.00 10.0
Max 0.08 2.0 0.75 0.045 0.03 18.0 3.00 14.0 0.10
316L Min 16.0 2.00 10.0
Max 0.03 2.0 0.75 0.045 0.03 18.0 3.00 14.0 0.10
316H Min 0.04 0.04 0 16.0 2.00 10.0
max 0.10 0.10 0.75 0.045 0.03 18.0 3.00 14.0


Physical properties of 316 stainless steel

Grade 316 stainless steel has a high melting point at 1425°C (2597°F) making it one of the most thermally stable materials available on the market today. It also possesses good electrical conductivity which makes it suitable for use in electrical devices or components where current needs to be conducted efficiently through the material without causing any losses or damage due to excessive heating or arcing.  The material also exhibits excellent ductility allowing for easy forming when heated up properly during fabrication processes such as stamping or drawing operations.  In addition to these features, it has a relatively low thermal expansion coefficient making it suitable for use in applications where temperature fluctuations are present such as those found in aerospace or industrial environments where extreme temperatures may occur during different operational scenarios or conditions.


Grade Density(kg/m3) Elastic Modulus (GPa) Mean Co-eff of Thermal Expansion (µm/m/°C) Thermal Conductivity (W/m.K) Specific Heat 0-100 °C (J/kg.K) Elec Resistivity (nΩ.m)
0-100 °C 0-315 °C 0-538 °C At 100 °C At 500 °C
316/L/H 8000 193 15.9 16.2 17.5 16.3 21.5 500 740


Mechanical Properties grade 316 stainless steel

Grade 316 stainless steel offers superior strength compared with other ferritic grades of stainless steel while still maintaining good ductility and toughness values at room temperature when the solution is annealed or cold worked depending on the process used during fabrication operations. The material can withstand loads up to 900MPa when tested according to ASTM A370 standard for tensile testing purposes making it suitable for use in structural members subjected to tension loads including beams columns frames etc…    Its yield strength ranges between 185-205MPa depending on how much cold working was performed on the material during fabrication operations as well as its annealing state prior to being tested according to ASTM A370 standards making it suitable for use in applications requiring good yield strengths such as fasteners bolts screws etc…   Finally its hardness values range between 200HBW-300HBS depending on how much cold working was performed during fabrication operations making it suitable for use in wear-resistant parts such as gears shafts cams rollers etc…   where higher hardness values are required than what can be achieved by austenitic grades of Stainless Steel without sacrificing too much ductility/toughness values since ferritic grades tend not to exhibit brittle behaviors even at higher hardness levels due their lower carbon contents typically below 020%.

Grade Tensile Str (MPa) min Yield Str 0.2% Proof (MPa) min Elong (% in 50 mm) min Hardness
Rockwell B (HR B) max Brinell (HB) max
316 515 205 40 95 217
316L 485 170 40 95 217
316H 515 205 40 95 217


Equivalent of 316 stainless steel

X5CrNiMo17-12-2 (1.4401)


Uses of 316 stainless steel

Grade 316 stainless steel is frequently used in the food processing industry due to its high corrosion resistance and superior hygiene standards. It is also popularly used in medical and marine applications where corrosion resistance is a must. This type of stainless steel can be used in many other industries as well such as construction, paper production, oil & gas exploration, aerospace engineering, etc.

Corrosion Resistance

Excellent in a range of atmospheric environments and many corrosive media – generally more resistant than 304. Subject to pitting and crevice corrosion in warm chloride environments, and to stress corrosion cracking above about 60 °C. Considered resistant to potable water with up to about 1000 mg/L chlorides at ambient temperatures, reducing to about 500 mg/L at 60 °C.

316 is usually regarded as the standard “marine grade stainless steel”, but it is not resistant to warm seawater. In many marine environments, 316 does exhibit surface corrosion, usually visible as brown staining. This is particularly associated with crevices and rough surface finish.

Heat Resistance

Good oxidation resistance in intermittent service to 870 °C and continuous service to 925 °C. Continuous use of 316 in the 425-860 °C range is not recommended if subsequent aqueous corrosion resistance is important. Grade 316L is more resistant to carbide precipitation and can be used in the above temperature range. Grade 316H has higher strength at elevated temperatures and is sometimes used for structural and pressure-containing applications at temperatures above about 500 °C.

Heat Treatment

Solution Treatment (Annealing) – Heat to 1010-1120 °C and cool rapidly. These grades cannot be hardened by thermal treatment.


Grade 316 stainless steel is an incredibly versatile material that offers excellent mechanical properties along with superior corrosion resistance when compared with other types of steel available on the market today. Its wide range of uses spans from medical equipment through construction projects where durability and longevity are essential requirements from a structural standpoint due to its good formability and weldability characteristics combined with its great strength/toughness/hardness capabilities these properties make grade 316 SS an ideal choice for many different industries requiring reliable materials capable of surviving extreme temperatures pressures loads vibrations impacts etc… As always please consult with your local metal supplier before purchasing any metal products so you can get technical advice regarding your specific application requirements before ordering anything! Thank you!

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