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Stainless Steel - Grade 316 (UNS S31600)

Chemical Formula

Fe, <0.03% C, 16-18.5% Cr, 10-14% Ni, 2-3% Mo, <2% Mn, <1% Si, <0.045% P, <0.03% S

Grade 316 is the standard molybdenum-bearing grade, second in importance to 304 amongst the austenitic stainless steels. The molybdenum gives 316 better overall corrosion resistant properties than Grade 304, particularly higher resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion in chloride environments. It has excellent forming and welding characteristics. It is readily brake or roll formed into a variety of parts for applications in the industrial, architectural, and transportation fields. Grade 316 also has outstanding welding characteristics. Post-weld annealing is not required when welding thin sections.

Grade 316L, the low carbon version of 316 and is immune from sensitisation (grain boundary carbide precipitation). Thus it is extensively used in heavy gauge welded components (over about 6mm). Grade 316H, with its higher carbon content has application at elevated temperatures, as does stabilised grade 316Ti.

The austenitic structure also gives these grades excellent toughness, even down to cryogenic temperatures.

Key Properties

These properties are specified for flat rolled product (plate, sheet and coil) in ASTM A240/A240M. Similar but not necessarily identical properties are specified for other products such as pipe and bar in their respective specifications.


Table 1. Composition ranges for 316 grade of stainless steels.

Grade   C Mn Si P S Cr Mo Ni N
316 Min - - - 0 - 16.0 2.00 10.0 -
Max 0.08 2.0 0.75 0.045 0.03 18.0 3.00 14.0 0.10
316L Min - - - - - 16.0 2.00 10.0 -
Max 0.03 2.0 0.75 0.045 0.03 18.0 3.00 14.0 0.10
316H Min 0.04 0.04 0 - - 16.0 2.00 10.0 -
max 0.10 0.10 0.75 0.045 0.03 18.0 3.00 14.0 -


Mechanical Properties

Table 2. Mechanical properties of 316 grade stainless steels.

Grade Tensile Str (MPa) min Yield Str 0.2% Proof (MPa) min Elong (% in 50 mm) min Hardness
Rockwell B (HR B) max Brinell (HB) max
316 515 205 40 95 217
316L 485 170 40 95 217
316H 515 205 40 95 217


Note: 316H also has a requirement for a grain size of ASTM no. 7 or coarser.

Physical Properties

Table 3. Typical physical properties for 316 grade stainless steels.

Grade Density(kg/m3) Elastic Modulus (GPa) Mean Co-eff of Thermal Expansion (µm/m/°C) Thermal Conductivity (W/m.K) Specific Heat 0-100 °C (J/kg.K) Elec Resistivity (nΩ.m)
0-100 °C 0-315 °C 0-538 °C At 100 °C At 500 °C
316/L/H 8000 193 15.9 16.2 17.5 16.3 21.5 500 740


Grade Specification Comparison

Table 4. Grade specifications for 316 grade stainless steels.

Grade UNS No Old British Euronorm Swedish SS Japanese JIS
BS En No Name
316 S31600 316S31 58H, 58J 1.4401 X5CrNiMo17-12-2 2347 SUS 316
316L S31603 316S11 - 1.4404 X2CrNiMo17-12-2 2348 SUS 316L
316H S31609 316S51 - - - - -

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Note: These comparisons are approximate only. The list is intended as a comparison of functionally similar materials not as a schedule of contractual equivalents. If exact equivalents are needed original specifications must be consulted.

Possible Alternative Grades

Table 5. Possible alternative grades to 316 stainless steel.

Grade Why it might be chosen instead of 316?
316Ti Better resistance to temperatures of around 600-900 °C is needed.
316N Higher strength than standard 316.
317L Higher resistance to chlorides than 316L, but with similar resistance to stress corrosion cracking.
904L Much higher resistance to chlorides at elevated temperatures, with good formability
2205 Much higher resistance to chlorides at elevated temperatures, and higher strength than 316


Corrosion Resistance

Excellent in a range of atmospheric environments and many corrosive media - generally more resistant than 304. Subject to pitting and crevice corrosion in warm chloride environments, and to stress corrosion cracking above about 60 °C. Considered resistant to potable water with up to about 1000 mg/L chlorides at ambient temperatures, reducing to about 500 mg/L at 60 °C.

316 is usually regarded as the standard “marine grade stainless steel”, but it is not resistant to warm sea water. In many marine environments 316 does exhibit surface corrosion, usually visible as brown staining. This is particularly associated with crevices and rough surface finish.

Heat Resistance

Good oxidation resistance in intermittent service to 870 °C and in continuous service to 925 °C. Continuous use of 316 in the 425-860 °C range is not recommended if subsequent aqueous corrosion resistance is important. Grade 316L is more resistant to carbide precipitation and can be used in the above temperature range. Grade 316H has higher strength at elevated temperatures and is sometimes used for structural and pressure-containing applications at temperatures above about 500 °C.

Heat Treatment

Solution Treatment (Annealing) - Heat to 1010-1120 °C and cool rapidly. These grades cannot be hardened by thermal treatment.


Excellent weldability by all standard fusion methods, both with and without filler metals. AS 1554.6 pre-qualifies welding of 316 with Grade 316 and 316L with Grade 316L rods or electrodes (or their high silicon equivalents). Heavy welded sections in Grade 316 require post-weld annealing for maximum corrosion resistance. This is not required for 316L. Grade 316Ti may also be used as an alternative to 316 for heavy section welding.


A “Ugima” improved machinability version of grade 316 is available in round and hollow bar products. This machines significantly better than standard 316 or 316L, giving higher machining rates and lower tool wear in many operations.

Dual Certification

It is common for 316 and 316L to be stocked in "Dual Certified" form - mainly in plate and pipe. These items have chemical and mechanical properties complying with both 316 and 316L specifications. Such dual certified product does not meet 316H specification and may be unacceptable for high temperature applications.


Typical applications include:

  • Food preparation equipment particularly in chloride environments.
  • Laboratory benches & equipment.
  • Coastal architectural panelling, railings & trim.
  • Boat fittings.
  • Chemical containers, including for transport.
  • Heat Exchangers.
  • Woven or welded screens for mining, quarrying & water filtration.
  • Threaded fasteners.
  • Springs.

Source: Atlas Steels Australia

For more information on this source please visit Atlas Steels Australia


  1. Eddie Owuor Eddie Owuor Kenya says:

    Hi, I find this very informative. Would someone use these kind of specifications for accessories that are used in the house, or is there a set measurement that accommodates household usage, particularly taps and bath accessories.....towel rails ,rings etc?

  2. Kathir Esan Kathir Esan India says:

    Is this suitable for Alum (sulphate of alumina) solution preparation from alum slabs?

  3. Chris Nied Chris Nied United States says:

    Is this composition acceptable for 316 Stainless

    cr 17.72  mn .88  fe 68.77  ni 10.52  mo 2.0  - Used for railing systems  thanks

  4. Harbans Panesar Harbans Panesar India says:

    Is it possible to bend a pipe of 19 diameter & wall thickness 2.5 mm of  ss316 having radius 75 mm. Bending surface should be wrinkle free.

  5. Satoshi Takemoto Satoshi Takemoto Vietnam says:

    Can I use S.S 310 bolt with steel members?

  6. Petr Dostálík Petr Dostálík Czech Republic says:

    What speed of ultrasonic shear waves is stainless steel?
    Please. My email is [email protected].

  7. Peer Mohamed Peer Mohamed India says:

    For solution annealing of SS316 forged matl of size 100*100 and length of 800mm what is the heating, soaking & quencing time. How do you calc the heating rate and soaking time?

  8. raju s.b raju s.b India says:

    we checked the water hardness it is 3450 ppm..
    in which way SS316 and SS304 and cloths may affect .

  9. Sajid Meraj Sajid Meraj Saudi Arabia says:

    How can possible to 316 steel rod material chrome ?  and how much micro chrome possible ?

    Sajid meraj
    [email protected]

  10. Tony Guy Tony Guy Australia says:

    is 316 stainless steel compatable with a plate alloy boat

  11. Aminullah Khan Aminullah Khan Islamic Republic of Pakistan says:

    Is it ok to fabricate a vertical ladder for humid environment?

  12. Haotian Zhang Haotian Zhang United States says:


  13. pasha mohammad pasha mohammad India says:

    What exactly the number 316 in Ss316 stand for?

  14. Deepak Kumar Thakur Deepak Kumar Thakur India says:

    How to clean the the ss 316 material to obtain a shining surface

  15. prabakaran p prabakaran p India says:

    i am joining aisi316 to aisi1018 using laser welding , i want exact post weld heat treatment temperature rage and holding time to avoid the chromium carbide


    Is it possible to make a ss vessel which working temp 300-degree celsius ? I need quick answer.

  17. shahrukh shiraaz shahrukh shiraaz Oman says:

    for a ss316 sample, if the all the chemical properties are in compliance to the chart in your website except Nickle which is 9.85, can we still consider it as 316 grade?

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of AZoM.com.

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