Difference between 316 and 316L

The main difference between 316 and 304 material is the difference in the composition. the 316 material has high carbon content whereas 316 L material has low carbon content. Both the materials are used interchangeably in many applications throughout various industrial applications. The material has 18% chromium 8% nickel and 4% molybdenum in the composition. The molybdenum conversation allows the material to be crossing resistance against seawater and chloride ion rich environments.

The material is preferred applications in the seawater corrosive components and in brackish water applications. price difference between 316 and 316l stainless steel is very mild as the material composition is almost the same. The carbon content in the 316 L material is limited to a maximum of 0.03% of the total composition. Both the materials are forced into stainless steel types which can handle certain levels of corrosion and strength. They are also highly capable of high temperature applications. the 316 L material has a lower carbon content which enables it for better welding applications. As the carbon content is very low it does not enable the formation of grain structure during the welding as part of the chloride precipitation. This is a preferable property in heavy welding applications. As welding applications need to last longer they have to be strong even at developing joints.

The low carbon content in the 316 L material also enables to have high toughness to the products. The high toughness helps in abrasion resistance of the materials made up of 316 L grade of stainless steel. The 316 and 316l comparison allows the customers to select between the right product types. Both the materials can be used in the production of bolts, nuts, pipes, pipe fittings, flanges and many other metallic products. The 316 L material is preferred for the building applications however the 316 material can also be used with annealing to resist welding decay. There is not much difference between 316 and 316l corrosion resistance as both the materials have the same amounts of chromium, nickel, molybdenum, manganese, sulfur and silicon in the composition. The lower carbon content allows the 316L material to have slightly higher corrosion resistance but it is not what makes the difference between these two grades.

The mechanical properties vary slightly due to the composition as well. The yield strength of the 316 material is 30ksi where that of 316L is 25ksi. The tensile strength for both the materials are 75ksi and 70ksi respectively. Bot the materials have 40% elongation rate and 95Rn max hardness. With the little toughness added to the mechanical properties with less carbide precipitation during welding, the 316L material is preferred for medical implants over the 316 material. Both the materials can be used at elevated temperatures up to 870 degrees Celsius. 316 is used more than the 316L material because only certain specific applications require the 316L variant. There are also other variants in the 316 material such as the F, N and H variants which are used in very unique applications.

let’s get to know comparison between 316 and 304 material Price and corrosion resistance


Grade 316 Material Equivalent Grades
Grade UNS No Old British Euronorm Swedish SS Japanese JIS
BS En No Name
316 S31600 304S11 58E 1.4401 X5CrNiMo17-12-2 2347 SUS 316


Mechanical Properties Database Of UNS S31600
Grade Elongation (% in 50mm) min Strength of Yield 0.2% Proof (MPa) minimum Strength of Tensile (MPa) minimum Pipe Hardness
Rockwell B (HR B) maximum Brinell (HB) maximum
316 40 205 515 95 217


Chemical Compatibility Chart Of DIN 1.4436
Grade C Mn Si P S Cr Mo Ni N
316 min. 16.0 2.0 10.0
max. 0.08 2.0 0.75 0.045 0.03 18.0 3.0 14.0 0.10


Typical Mechanical Property Ranges Of Type 316l
Melting Point Density Tensile Strength Elongation (0.2%Offset) Yield Strength
(2550 °F)1400 °C 8.0 MPa – 515, Psi – 75000 35 % MPa – 205, Psi – 30000


Chemical Compatibility Chart Of UNS S31603
Grade C Mn Si P S Cr Mo Ni Fe
SS 316L 0.035 max 2 max 1.0 max 0.045 max 0.030 max 16.0-18.0 2.0-3.0 10.0-14.0 68.89 min


DIN 1.4435 Equivalent Properties
 SS 316L SUS 316L 1.4404 / 1.4435 03Ch17N14M3 / 03Ch17N14M2 S31603 X2CrNiMo17-12-2 / X2CrNiMo18-14-3 316S11 / 316S13 Z3CND17‐11‐02 / Z3CND18‐14‐03