50 grades of stainless steel

The BSSA has selected 50 Grades of Stainless Steel as its theme for 2014. Each week throughout the year, we will showcase one grade and illustrate the variety of corrosion resistant, mechanical and physical properties which determine its suitability for a wide range of applications.



316/316L 1.4401/1.4404 S31600/S31603

Offshore Oil and Gas

Offshore Oil and Gas

Pharmaceutical isolator

Pharmaceutical Isolator

Courtesy of White Bros

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.

Find out more about the 50 Grades of Stainless Steel campaign

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