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The Strength and Resilience of 316L Stainless Steel: A Comprehensive Guide to Corrosion Resistance, High Strength, and Durability

27 January 2024

316L is one of the most commonly used grades of stainless steel. It combines high tensile strength with corrosion resistance.

It can withstand pitting and crevice corrosion in water with up to 2000 ppm chloride. It also resists localized attacks such as etching and cracking.

It contains 2-3% molybdenum for additional corrosion resistance. It’s a good choice for jewelry and marine applications.

Corrosion Resistance

Stainless steels are renowned for their ability to withstand corrosion, exhibiting resistance to various corrosive substances, such as acids and chemicals commonly encountered in marine settings. Their substantial chromium content affords them resilience against atmospheric oxidation, further bolstered by the addition of molybdenum, which enhances their corrosion resistance. Nonetheless, despite these advantages, they remain vulnerable to corrosion when exposed to specific types of acid.

The corrosion of 316L stainless steel black plate often results from a combination of factors, including oxidation, abrasion, and erosion. These elements can culminate in the formation of black oxide, compromising the material’s tensile strength and potentially causing structural and equipment failures. Nevertheless, several methods can be employed to forestall black oxide formation on 316L stainless steel, encompassing selective oxidation pre-treatments and boronizing treatments

Another way to improve the corrosion resistance of 316L is to use a coating that can prevent oxidation. Various methods for coating the metal include electrochemical coloring and PVD deposition. The latter is a cost-effective method that can be used to create an anti-corrosion layer on the surface of the metal. However, it is important to remember that the coating should be applied in a well-ventilated area.

Other techniques to improve the corrosion resistance of 316L include reducing exposure to chlorides and abrasion. This can be accomplished by selecting an appropriate base metal and passivating the steel. This can reduce susceptibility to corrosion under severe conditions.

Hydrostatic extrusion (HE) was performed to study the effects of severe plastic deformation on the microstructure, uniform corrosion, and susceptibility to local attack in austenitic stainless steel 316L. The results showed that HE significantly improved the mechanical properties of the specimens without changing the chemical composition; the increase in non-metallic inclusions after HE reduced the stability of the passive film over a wide pH range and made the material susceptible to metastable pitting corrosion, but matrix refinement had only a minor effect on these phenomena. The matrix refinement had only a marginal effect on these phenomena.

High Strength

Stainless steel is strong and durable. It is also highly corrosion-resistant. Black PVD coating on stainless steel is an effective way to improve its strength, especially in the case of large-diameter bars. This can help you save money on materials and increase your product’s lifespan. The PVD coating is also durable and resistant to scratching. This makes it a great choice for many different applications.

Black-plated 316L stainless steel is an excellent choice for use in harsh industrial and marine environments where the atmosphere may be contaminated with chlorides. Molybdenum added to this stainless steel improves resistance to atmospheric corrosion, especially chloride pitting and crevice corrosion. It also has improved durability at high temperatures.

Besides the alloying elements chromium, nickel and molybdenum that make up this stainless steel, it also contains small amounts of manganese. These components give it greater corrosion resistance than other stainless steels. 316L has better resistance to stress corrosion cracking than 304, as well as improved creep and spalling resistance at high temperatures.

In addition, 316L has low sensitization properties. It is also non-magnetic in the annealed condition. This grade of stainless steel is an excellent choice for use in chemical processing, pharmaceutical hoses, and marine splash zones.

Alloy 316/316L (UNS S31600/S31603) is a chromium-nickel molybdenum austenitic stainless steel developed to improve the corrosion resistance of alloy 304 in moderately corrosive environments. It has better corrosion resistance than 304 in chloride-containing atmospheres and good high-temperature strength. It is generally dual-certified as 316/316L and 304/304L.

In 316L, molybdenum (2–3%), nickel (10–14%), and chromium (16–18%) are the primary alloying components. When compared to the 400 series of stainless steel used for food or kitchen containers, these components give this grade a higher level of corrosion resistance. These grades are far more free of rust since they contain far less nickel than the 300 series. Moreover, surgical instruments and medical applications can make use of this kind of stainless steel. This is because of its great resistance to corrosion, low toxicity, and sterilization capabilities. Because of its great strength and excellent corrosion resistance, 316L is frequently used in shipbuilding.

High Durability

Stainless steel is rigid and sturdy, making it a great material for heavy-duty applications like infrastructure and industrial equipment. Its stiffness and hardness come from a combination of carbon and chromium. The addition of chromium makes the steel much tougher and stronger than unalloyed iron, while also giving it greater resistance to corrosion and oxidation.

In contrast to ordinary carbon steel, which quickly reacts with oxygen to produce brittle and unstable iron oxide or red rust, stainless steel produces a nickel and chromium oxide film that is passive and self-renewing. This oxide barrier is resistant to oxidation and corrosion in the majority of conditions, including wet air, and it doesn’t transfer to or further react with other materials.

This makes 316L an excellent material for kitchen furniture and equipment tubing, as well as outdoor architectural elements like bollards and railings. Because the 316L grade is more resistant to chlorides than the 304 grade, it is a great option for regions where saltwater exposure occurs frequently or where roads are constantly salted.

While both 304 and 316L are corrosion-resistant, neither is considered a rustproof material. Stainless steel must be properly cared for to prevent rust and corrosion. However, when properly cleaned and passivated, stainless steel has a very low maintenance cost and is long-lasting.

Alloy steel is a general term for metals that contain significant amounts of other elements, such as chromium, nickel, molybdenum, vanadium, aluminum, titanium, and copper. It is classified into three groups based on the alloying ingredients and compositions: austenitic grades, ferritic grades, and martensitic grades. 316L is a member of the austenitic group, meaning that it contains significant chromium and nickel.

While 316L is non-magnetic in its annealed state, it becomes slightly magnetic when cold-worked or welded. This makes it easier to work with and a more versatile material than unalloyed carbon steel. In addition, 316L has high corrosion resistance in polluted ocean atmospheres. The chromium content in 316L stainless steel is higher than in 304L, so it is better able to resist corrosion in salty and chloride-rich environments. It can also withstand moderate oxidation in polluted seawater, and it has good resistance to intergranular corrosion in the welded state.

Low Maintenance

All of our 316L bracelets are meticulously crafted from a premium selection of metal known for its exceptional resistance to corrosion and hypoallergenic properties, ensuring longevity and a lasting, radiant sheen. This robust metal stands up to tarnishing and corrosion, thanks to the presence of stable metal alloys that prevent iron from reacting with oxygen in water or air. While such a reaction would typically result in rust, this metal is both tarnish-resistant and waterproof, making it effortless to clean and maintain.

Stainless steel, known for its versatility, finds widespread use in various applications, including kitchen appliances, cutlery, surgical instruments, major household appliances, and industrial equipment. Its presence extends to outdoor architectural features and infrastructure submerged in deep waters.

While there are many different grades of stainless steel, 316L is the most common type of marine-grade stainless steel. It is an austenitic stainless steel that contains chromium (16-18%), nickel (10-14%) and molybdenum (2-3%). It offers excellent corrosion resistance in marine environments, especially in saline or chloride-exposed applications.

It has better corrosion resistance than Type 304, which does not contain molybdenum. This is due to the addition of molybdenum, which increases corrosion resistance in saline or chloride-exposed environments. This makes it the ideal metal for use in marine applications, such as plumbing.

In a general environment, 316L combines good corrosion resistance and strength with a higher workability than other austenitic grades of stainless steel. It can be easily welded and fabricated into complex parts. It is also suitable for chemical processing, as it has a good resistance to acids and alkalis.

Unlike other types of stainless steel, 316L does not need to be treated with special care or maintenance. It can withstand heavy loads and repeated impacts without becoming dull or damaged, even after years of use. It can be buffed or honed to remove roughness, but the process is not necessary. Using a non-scratch stainless steel cleaner will help to keep your 316L bracelet in great condition for years to come.

This is a mechanically produced finish that has been ground to a unidirectional smoothness of 80 – 100 grit. It is the ideal starting surface finish for a part that will require additional polishing operations, as it provides a good base for further finishing processes.