What are the properties of 316L Stainless Steel

Marissa Jameson: What are the properties of "316L Stainless Steel"?

I am looking into buying a plain wedding band that is 2mm wide and it is made of 316L Stainless Steel and I wanted to know if this specific type of stainless steel is sturdy, if it rusts or corrodes or changes colors over time, and anything else that may be important to know regarding something that I will be wearing every day.

Best answer properties of "316L Stainless Steel"

Stainless Steel - Grade 316L - Properties, Fabrication and Applications (UNS S31603)

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.

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). There is commonly no appreciable price difference between 316 and 316L stainless steel.

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

Compared to chromium-nickel austenitic stainless steels, 316L stainless steel offers higher creep, stress to rupture and tensile strength at elevated 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.

317L Stainless Steel: Higher resistance to chlorides than 316L, but with similar resistance to stress corrosion cracking.

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 1000mg/L chlorides at ambient temperatures, reducing to about 500mg/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.

Another Answer by nand_r

Ya..its a biomaterial.It has improved corrosion resistance because of its reduced carbon content.alloying elements are iron,chromium,nickel,molybdenum,manganese.
When u buy see that chromium content is above 11% to enable resist corrosion and also sufficient molybdenum because it resists pitting corrosion.and only cold worked 316L has greater tensile strength than annealed

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Stainless steel Grade 904L specification

Grade 904L is a non-stabilised low carbon high  alloy  austenitic  stainless  steel.  The addition of copper to this grade gives it greatly improved resistance to strong reducing acids, particularly sulphuric acid. It is also highly resistant to chloride attack - both pitting / crevice corrosion and stress corrosion cracking.

This grade is non-magnetic in all conditions and has excellent weldability and formability. The austenitic structure also gives this grade excellent toughness, even down to cryogenic temperatures.      
904L does have very substantial contents of the high cost ingredients nickel and molybdenum. Many of the applications in which this grade has previously performed well can now be fulfilled at lower cost by duplex stainless steel 2205 (S31803 or S32205), so 904L is used less commonly than in the past.


Corrosion Resistance    

Although originally developed for its resistance to sulphuric acid it also has a very high resistance to a wide range of environments. A PRE of 35 indicates that the material has good resistance to warm sea water and other high chloride environments. High nickel content results in a much better resistance to stress corrosion cracking than the standard austenitic grades. Copper adds resistance to sulphuric and other reducing acids, particularly in the very aggressive "mid concentration" range.
In most environments 904L has a corrosion performance intermediate between the standard austenitic grade 316L and the very highly alloyed 6% molybdenum and similar "super austenitic" grades.  
In aggressive nitric acid 904L has less resistance than molybdenum-free grades such as 304L and 310L. For maximum stress corrosion cracking resistance in critical environments the steel should be solution treated after cold work.

Consult Atlas Technical Assistance for specific environmental recommendations.

Heat Resistance  

Good resistance to oxidation, but like other highly alloyed grades suffers from structural instability recipitation of brittle phases such as sigma) at elevated temperatures. It should not be used above about 550°C. 904L has design stress values in the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code to 371°C.  

Heat Treatment  

 Solution Treatment (Annealing) Heat to 1090-1175°C and cool rapidly. This grade cannot be hardened by thermal treatment.  


904L can be successfully welded by all standard methods. Care needs to be taken as this grade solidifies fully austenitic, so is susceptible to hot cracking, particularly in constrained weldments. No pre-heat should be used and in most cases post weld heat treatment is also not required. AS 1554.6 pre-qualifies Grade 904L rods and electrodes for welding of 904L.  


904L is a high purity, low sulphur grade, and as such will not machine as well as other grades optimised for machinability. Grade 904L can however be machined using standard techniques.  
Bending to a small radius is readily carried out. In most cases this is performed cold. Subsequent annealing is generally not required, although it should be considered if the fabrication is to be used in an environment here severe stress corrosion cracking conditions are anticipated.  

Typical Applications  

Processing plant for sulphuric, phosphoric and acetic acids. Pulp and paper processing. Components in gas scrubbing plants. Seawater cooling equipment. Oil refinery components. Wires in electrostatic precipitators. 

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




Grade 420 hardness martensitic stainless steels

Grade 420 hardness martensitic stainless steels

Grade 420 stainless steel is a higher carbon version of 410; like most carbon and low alloy steels it can be hardened by heat treatment. It contains a minimum of 12 per cent chromium, just  sufficient  to  give  corrosion  resistant properties.  420  has  good  ductility  in  the annealed  condition  but  is  capable  of  being hardened up to Rockwell Hardness 50HRC, the highest hardness of the 12 per cent chromium grades.   Its   best   corrosion   resistance   is achieved when hardened and surface ground or polished.

Related grades to 420 are high carbon high hardness martensitic stainless steels such as the 440 series (see the Atlas Datasheet on this series of grades) and also variations to 420 containing molybdenum (for increased corrosion resistance and  mechanical properties),  sulphur (for increased machinability) or anadium (for higher hardness). A slightly higher carbon version of 420 is the non-standard grade 420C.

Martensitic stainless steels are optimised for high hardness, and other properties are to some degree compromised. Fabrication must allow for poor weldability and usually also include a final harden and temper heat treatment. Corrosion resistance is lower than the common austenitic grades, and their useful operating temperature range is limited by their loss of ductility at sub-zero temperatures and loss of strength by over-tempering at elevated temperatures.  

Read more:
Austenitic stainless steel Grade 304, 304L and 304H

Utility stainless steel designation AtlasCR12Ti is a registered trade mark of Atlas Steels

Corrosion Resistance    

Grade 420 in the hardened condition has good resistance to the atmosphere, foods, fresh water and mild alkalies or acids. Corrosion resistance is lower in the annealed condition. Less corrosion resistant than the austenitic grades and also less than 17% chromium ferritic alloys such as Grade 430; 420 also has slightly lower resistance than grade 410. Performance is best with a smooth surface finish.    

This grade is commonly used for cutlery - particularly blades of table knives and for some carving knives and similar. The corrosion resistance is sufficient to resist food and normal washing methods, but prolonged contact with unwashed food residues can result in pitting. Consult Atlas Technical Assistance for specific environmental recommendations.

 Heat Resistance 

 Not recommended for use in temperatures above the relevant tempering temperature, because of reduction in mechanical properties. The scaling temperature is approximately 650°C. 

 Heat Treatment Annealing 

 Full anneal - 840-900°C, slow furnace cool to 600°C and then air cool. Process Anneal - 735-785°C and air cool. 


 Heat to 980-1035°C, followed by quenching in oil or air. Oil quenching is necessary for heavy sections. Temper at 150-370°C to obtain a wide variety of hardness values and mechanical properties as indicated in the accompanying table. 

The tempering range 425-600°C should be avoided. 


 Pre-heat to 150-320°C and post-heat at 610- 760°C. Grade 420 coated welding rods are recommended for high strength joints, where a post-weld hardening and tempering heat treatment is to be carried out. If parts are to be used in the "as welded" condition, a ductile joint can be achieved by using Grade 309 filler rod. AS 1554.6 pre- qualifies welding of 420 with Grade 309 rods or electrodes. 


In the annealed condition this grade is relatively easily machined, but if hardened to above 30HRC machining becomes more difficult. Free machining grade 416 (refer Atlas Datasheet) is a very readily machined alternative. 

Typical Applications

Cutlery, knife blades, surgical instruments. Needle valves. Shear blades.         

Specified Properties

These properties are specified for bar product in ASTM A276. Bar is the most commonly available form of grade 420. Similar but not necessarily identical properties are specified for other products such as plate and forgings in their respective specifications.

Composition Specification (%)