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Characteristics and application of 316 stainless steel


sae / ansi / aisi 316 is the second most commonly available/widely used type of stainless steel after the sae/ansi/aisi 304. considered the generic workhorse, ss 304 can serve in most situations with great success. however, while both are typically used in industry, ss aisi 316 is used in even harsher environments where there is a need for:

  • greater corrosion resistance

  • greater tensile strength at higher operating temperatures

  • acidic resistance of solutions of nitric acid of concentration as high as 5% at 50 °c

  • phosphoric acid of concentration of up to 20% at 100 °c

applications for ss aisi 316

also known as surgical stainless steel, marine steel, 316s16 (as per the british standard), ss 316 is an austenitic chromium-nickel alloy. as a consequence it:

  • has a very high corrosion resistance

  • is generally nonmagnetic

  • can perform well at a very wide temperature range (-150 to 950 °c).

it is also worth noting that ss aisi 316 can withstand extremely corrosive environments and is easily shaped, welded and machined. using standard fusion methods, it is very popular in a wide range of applications including the following sectors:

  • medical equipment

  • aerospace engineering

  • food processing equipment

  • storage tanks and transport tanks for chemicals

  • nuclear plants (cladding of fuel rods)

  • textile dyeing and/or bleaching machines

  • rubber and paper pulp production plants

  • screens for mining plants

  • quarrying and water filtration systems

  • springs, bolts, screws and nuts

  • marine engineering and boat fittings

  • cryogenics

additional reasons why aisi 316 is used in the aforementioned sectors include:

  • an aesthetically pleasing appearance

  • easiness in cleaning

  • relatively high-strength to weight ratio

  • relatively high availability in many different forms

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