316 steel and its properties

Steel with the material number AISI 316L (1.4404) is a frequently used chromium-nickel stainless steel with molybdenum addition and its alloy identifier X2CrNiMo17-12-2. It is attributed to the austenite group. Compared to the common variant AISI 304 (1.4301), it is particularly distinguished by its increased properties concerning corrosion resistance. This is achieved by a proportion of at least 2% molybdenum. In this regard, AISI 316L can demonstrate its strengths, especially in the presence of chlorides. AISI 316L (1.4404), however, is not resistant to seawater. This 316L stainless steel, is also protected against intergranular corrosion after welding, with the low carbon content being responsible for this. This is also the case after welding processes. In general, this type of stainless steel stands out by its excellent weldability value.

Areas of Application for AISI 316L

AISI 316L is resistant to organic and inorganic acids, as well as to halogen-containing media. Its technological profile makes this grade of stainless steel very suitable for areas where challenging demands are placed on corrosion resistance. Typical industries include the pharmaceutical industry, medical and dental technology, or also the general automotive industry, construction industry, chemical industry and more. This stainless steel grade has characteristics that make it valuable for various applications. However, its hardness properties with values of about 200 HV in some areas are a limiting factor. Current methods for the hardening of stainless steel often have negative effects on corrosion resistance. The BORINOX® method for stainless steel hardening represents one way to harden AISI 316 without compromising that. With this method, the hardness level can be increased up to over 1300 HV.