Type 316L (UNS S31603/1.4404)

  • Improved machinability, resulting in longer tool life.
  • Low carbon content renders it immune to sensitization.
  • Great toughness, even at cryogenic temperatures.
  • Improved corrosion resistance, due to added molybdenum.
  • Excellent weldability.
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Type 316L stainless steel is an austenitic steel with low carbon content and added molybdenum. It can be machined at faster speeds, providing longer tool life and better quality.

Due to its low carbon content, type 316L is not affected by grain boundary carbide precipitation. At elevated temperatures, type 316L offers higher stress to rupture, creep and tensile strength.

Comprising additional molybdenum, it provides better corrosion resistance, which means it can be used especially in marine applications.

Common Names:

Stainless steel type 316L is commonly known as Chromium-Nickel steel.

Executive Standards/Grades:

JIS: G4305


DIN: 1.4404

UNS: S31603

EN: X2CrNiMo17-12-2


Chemical Properties:

Type 316L stainless steel has the following chemical composition:

  • Carbon – 0.03%
  • Manganese – 2.00%
  • Chromium – 16.0% – 18.0%
  • Nickel – 10.0% – 14.0%
  • Molybdenum – 2.0% – 3.0%
  • Sulphur – 0.03%
  • Phosphorus – 0.045%
  • Silicon – 0.75%
  • Nitrogen – 0.10%

Mechanical Properties:

  • Hardness (HRB) – 95 (maximum)
  • Elongation (%) – 40
  • Yield Strength (Mpa) – 170
  • Tensile Strength (Mpa) – 485
  • Poisson’s Ratio – 0.30
  • Reduction of Area – 40%
  • Melting range: 2500 – 2590 ⁰ F

Physical Properties:

  • Density (8000 Kg/M3)
  • Elastic Modulus (Gpa) – 193
  • Thermal Conductivity (BTU/h ft. °F) – 8.7 at 212°F
  • Specific Heat (Btu/lb./°F) – 0.1200 at 68°F to 212°F
  • Electrical Resistivity – 27.6 at 68°F

Key Features:

  • A low-carbon version of Type 316, providing immunization to sensitization in the welding process
  • Faster machining speeds, improving the quality of the products, and reducing costs
  • Excellent resistance to corrosive media and atmospheric environments
  • Good oxidation resistance and greater resistance to carbide precipitation
  • Excellent weldability by all methods, with or without filler metal
  • Machining is recommended at low speeds and constant feed rates
  • Type 316L can be hardened by cold forming, giving it increased strength

Forms Available:

Stainless steel type 316L is available in different forms such as:

  • Sheet
  • Tube
  • Coil
  • Pipe
  • Flanges & Fittings
  • Plate
  • Bar
  • Wire


Because of its properties, stainless steel type 316L has a wide range of applications including:

  • Food preparation
  • Pharmaceutical applications
  • Marine applications
  • Architectural applications
  • Medical implants
  • Chemical and petrochemical industry

Possible Alternatives Grades:

Type 316L stainless steel has some possible alternatives that can be used. Such as:

  • 316Ti – Better resistance to temperatures.
  • 317L – Higher resistance to chlorides, but similar stress corrosion resistance.
  • 316Cb – Moderately low tensile strength, also formulated for primary forming into wrought products.
  • 906L – Very good corrosion resistance
  • 304L – Cost-effective alternative with a chromium content
  • 316H – Good for elevated temperature applications
  • 445M2 – With a ferritic microstructure


  • How is type 316L stainless steel better than 316?

Type 316L stainless steel is the low carbon version of 316, with additional molybdenum providing more resistance to carbide precipitation.

  • Can type 316L be easily welded?

Type 316L provides excellent weldability, with or without filler metals, and does not require post-weld annealing.

  • How does type 316L behave to hot and cold working?

Type 316L stainless steel can be hot worked by most common hot working techniques and cold worked by most operations. Post-work annealing should be performed.

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