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Types 316 and 316L Stainless Steel

Properties and composition of type 316 stainless steel

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Type 316 steel is an austenitic chromium-nickel stainless steel that contains between two and three percent molybdenum. The molybdenum content increases corrosion resistance, improves resistance to pitting in chloride ion solutions and increases strength at high temperatures.

Type 316 grade stainless steel is particularly effective in acidic environments, protecting against corrosion caused by sulfuric, hydrochloric, acetic, formic and tartaric acids, as well as acid sulfates and alkaline chlorides.

Common uses for type 316 stainless steel include in the contstruction of exhaust manifolds, furnace parts, heat exchangers, jet engine parts, pharmaceutical and photographic equipment, valve and pump parts, chemical processing equipment, tanks, evaporators, as well as pulp, paper and textile processing equipment and any parts exposed to marine environments.

Type 316L stainless steel is an extra-low carbon version of the 316 steel alloy. The lower carbon content in 316L minimizes deleterious carbide precipitation as a result of welding. Consequently, 316L is used when welding is required in order to ensure maximum corrosion resistance.

While similiar to Type 304, both Type 316 and 316L exhibit better corrosion resistance and are stronger and elevated temperatures. They are also both non-hardenable by heat treatment and can be readily formed and drawn.

Annealing 316 and 316L stainless steels requires heating to between 1900-2100°F (1038-1149°C) before rapidly quenching.

Physical Properties:

  • Density: 0.799g/cm3
  • Electrical resistivity: 74 microhm-cm (20C)
  • Specific Heat: 0.50 kJ/kg-K (0-100°C)
  • Thermal conductivity: 16.2 W/m-k (100°C)
  • Modulus of Elasticity (MPa): 193 x 103 in tension
  • Melting Range: 2500-2550°F (1371-1399°C)

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