A Pocket Guide: 316 Stainless Steel Properties

Grade 316 stainless is one of the most widely used types of stainless steel on the market due to its superior corrosion resistance, particularly in acidic environments. There are several advantages to 316 stainless steel properties when compared with other grades, so we’ve put together a quick reference guide highlighting the properties, applications and benefits of 316 stainless steel.

316 Stainless Steel Properties

Grade 316 stainless is more expensive than its counterparts because it’s so durable and resistant to corrosion. It will last significantly longer compared with other stainless grades, making the extra cost worth it if the application is exposed to chlorides, salt exposure or other powerful corrosives.

stainless steel float round

This austenitic grade of steel has a high amount of nickel and chromium, with the majority of the composition being iron. The chemical make-up of grade 316 steel contains a large amount of molybdenum, typically 2-3% by weight, which is the property that results in increased corrosion resistance and improved strength at high temperatures.

Within the grade there are a variety of types of 316 stainless, including L, F, N, and H variants, all differing slightly in chemical composition and properties.

Grade 316 Steel Applications & Industries

Due to its superior performance in corrosive environments, grade 316 stainless steel is regularly used across industries that require high levels of corrosion resistance.

medical equipment

Common applications include:

  • Chemical processing & storage equipment
  • Heat exchangers
  • Jet engine parts
  • Marine parts & equipment
  • Medical devices
  • Outdoor electrical enclosures
  • Paper, pulp and textile processing equipment
  • Pharmaceutical equipment
  • Photographic equipment
  • Refinery equipment
  • Stainless steel floats
  • Valve and pump parts

In review, there are a few situations to consider using 316 stainless steel as an alternative to other grades of steel. If the environment includes corrosive elements, the application will be underwater or endures water exposure, or if the application requires both hardness and strength, then 316 stainless is the ideal option.

Contact the Experts at Arthur Harris

Arthur Harris has been a leading manufacturer of stainless steel floats for over 100 years. We look forward to helping you select the stainless steel float balls, valves and hardware that best suits your project needs. If you have any questions, please contact us today!