316 stainless is one of the most common stainless steels in the world. It is used for a wide range of applications, from heat exchangers to boat fittings and threaded fasteners. It also performs well in corrosive environments and is highly resistant to pitting corrosion.
Corrosion Resistance: 316 is an austenitic stainless steel, meaning it has high chromium content and other elements that help protect the alloy from rusting and corrosion. The addition of molybdenum to 316 elevates its corrosion resistance even more, making it the ideal stainless steel for marine environments and other areas that experience extreme chemical and saline exposure.
It is also highly resistant to a number of corrosion types, including pitting corrosion and stress corrosion cracking. However, these are only a concern in environments that involve corrosive solutions containing chloride ions.
Grade 316 is readily weldable using most fusion techniques. It can be welded with filler metals of the same grade, which retains its corrosion resistance and strength.
Suitable for Hot Working: Like all austenitic stainless steels, 316 can be easily worked by all common methods of sheet metal working, although it should not be heated below 927degC. It should be annealed post-work to improve its corrosion resistance.
316 is often preferred over type 304 for certain industrial applications, such as those that involve the use of processing chemicals or saline environments. It has added molybdenum to prevent corrosion, particularly pitting corrosion, which occurs when the alloy is exposed to solutions that contain chloride ions.