316L vs. 316 Stainless Steel
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What is 316L stainless steel?
316L grade stainless steel, also known as A4 stainless steel or marine grade stainless steel, is the second most common austenitic stainless steel after 304/A2 stainless steel. The main alloy composition after iron is chromium (16-18%), nickel (10-12%) and molybdenum (2-3%), as well as a small amount (< 1%) of silicon, phosphorus and sulfur.
316L is commonly used in the chemical and petrochemical industries, food processing, pharmaceutical equipment, medical devices, drinking water, wastewater treatment, marine applications and near the coast or in urban areas.
316L vs. 316 stainless steel
316 and 316L stainless steel alloys are both marine-grade steels. The difference between them is that the proportion of carbon in 316L is lower. To meet the requirements of 316L stainless steel, the carbon content must not exceed 0.03%. This reduces the risk of carbon deposition, making it a better choice for welding to ensure maximum corrosion resistance.
316 stainless steel has a medium carbon content and a molybdenum content of between 2% and 3%, thus improving its resistance to corrosion, acidic elements and high temperatures.
Both materials have excellent ductility, which means that they perform well in bending, stretching, deep drawing and spinning.
Should I use 316 or 316L stainless steel?
You need to consider the following factors:
316L is the best choice for high corrosion and high temperature applications. Because the carbon content of 316L is less than that of 316, it has better intergranular corrosion resistance, which means that its weld will not rot like 316 stainless steel.
The cost of 316 and 316L stainless steel is roughly the same.
The responsiveness of 316 stainless steel to magnetic field is very low. Unlike ferromagnetic basic stainless steels, most varieties of stainless steel (including 316) are austenitic-or actually non-magnetic.
However, some 316 stainless steel products can be cold formed and welded, in which the crystal structure of austenite is transformed into ferromagnetic martensite. 316L steel is easier to obtain a certain degree of magnetism.
Both types of stainless steel can be used in various industries. However, 316 is mainly used in construction and infrastructure because it is sturdy, pitting and corrosion resistant in most cases. 316L is very popular in pharmaceutical and photographic equipment because it can withstand welding and corrosive chemicals.
316L and 316 Stainless Steel powder Price
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