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Grade 316

Grade 316 (1.4401) is the second in this series of articles about stainless steel grades. It is the most common grade which highlights the benefits of molybdenum (Mo).

Approximate Composition – 17% Cr 10% Ni 2% Mo (exact composition ranges vary between EN and ASTM standards).

Mo enhances the corrosion resistance of stainless steel even in relatively small amounts. 1% of Mo is worth about 3% of Cr in terms of corrosion resistance.

In environments where 304 (1.4301) is found to be inadequate, 316 (1.4401) is the natural first grade to be considered. Typical environments where 316 (1.4401) is used are high chloride (saline, coastal), heavy urban, acidic, high temperature solutions. Like all austenitic stainless steels, 316 (1.4401) has good welding and forming characteristics.

Typical applications which demonstrate the improved corrosion resistance of 316(1.4401) include:

Pharmaceutical plant, chemical processing, offshore oil and gas platform topside equipment, architectural applications in urban and coastal conditions, food processing, water treatment, pressure vessels, transport containers, swimming pool fittings and fixtures, marine structures, yacht fittings, laboratory equipment, heat exchangers.

316 (1.4401) will continue to be an important grade of stainless steel in the more demanding applications for many years to come.