316L vs. 316 Stainless Steel

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What is 316L Stainless Steel? 316L, also known by A4 grade stainless or marine-grade stainless steel is the second most widely used austenitic steel after 304/A2 Stainless steel. The main alloy composition is iron, which includes chromium (16-18%) as well as nickel (10-12%), molybdenum (2-3%) and a small amount ( 1%) of silicon, sulfur and phosphorus.

316L is often used in the chemical, petrochemical, food processing, medical devices and drinking water.


Both the 316L and316L stainless steel alloys can be used to make marine-grade steels. The only difference is the lower carbon content in 316L. To comply with 316L requirements, carbon must not exceed 0.03%. This reduces the chance of carbon deposition making it an excellent choice for welding. It also ensures maximum corrosion resistance.

316 stainless steel is medium in carbon and has a moderate molybdenum percentage of between 2 and 3 percent. This improves its resistance to corrosion and acidic elements as well as high temperatures.

Both materials exhibit excellent ductility which allows them to perform well in bending and stretching.

Should I use stainless steel 316L or316?

Consider the following:

Corrosion resistance

The best choice for high temperature and corrosion applications is 316L. 316L’s carbon content is lower than 316’s, so it has better resistance to intergranular corrosion. This means that 316 stainless will not rot.


The prices of 316L and316L stainless steel are roughly equal.

Magnet properties

The magnetism of 316 stainless-steel is low. Most varieties of stainless steel, including 316, are austenitic (or non-magnetic) unlike ferromagnetic stainless steels.

However, some 316 stainless-steel products can be cold formed, welded and transformed into ferromagnetic martensite. It is easier for 316L to attain a certain degree magnetism.


Both types of stainless can be used for different purposes. Due to its strength, corrosion resistance, and pitting resistance, 316 is the most popular type of stainless steel. Because it can withstand welding, and corrosive chemical, 316L has a lot of appeal in photographic and pharmaceutical equipment.

316L & 316 Stainless Steel Powder Price

Price is affected by many factors, including supply and demand, industry trends and economic activity.

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316L Stainless steel powder

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