Both 316 stainless steel and 316L stainless steel are widely used in food industry and medical equipment. With the improvement of consumption level, the use of both 316L and 316 stainless steel is increasingly common in the manufacturing of stainless steel water bottles. As a leading stainless steel drinkware manufacturer, we received many emails inquiring difference between 316L and 316 stainless steel So our engineer combines many useful information to explain their similarities and differences.
The similarities between 316 stainless steel and 316L stainless steel
- 316 and 316L stainless steel (see below for properties of stainless steel) are two types of molybdenum-containing stainless steel. Both have strong anti-corrosion ability.
- Both 316 and 316L stainless steel are medical grade materials.
The differences between 316 stainless steel and 316L stainless steel
First of all, there is a difference in the composition. 316L is a type of ultra-low carbon and L stands for low carbon, which means the carbon content of 316L stainless steel is lower than that of 316. Secondly, the corrosion resistance is different. The resistance to intergranular corrosion of 316L stainless steel is better, and its anti-corrosion and anti-rust ability is more remarkable. The strength of the two materials is also distinct. The strength of 316L stainless steel is lower than that of 316, which makes it convenient for processing. In addition, the welding section of 316 stainless steel needs the annealing treatment after being welded, while that of 316L stainless steel does not.
- Different composition
Chemical composition (%) of 316: C ≤ 0.08, Si≤1.00, Mn≤2.00, P≤0.035, S≤0.03, Ni:10.0-14.0, Cr:16.0-18.5, Mo:2.0-3.0.
Chemical composition (%) of 316L: C ≤ 0.03, Si≤1.00, Mn≤2.00, P≤0.035, S≤0.03, Ni:10.0-14.0, Cr:16.0-18.5, Mo:2.0-3.0
It is clear to see that the carbon content of 316L is lower. In fact, L stands for “low”, which indicates low carbon. In addition, the chromium and nickel contents of the two materials are different, and the molybdenum content of 316L is slightly higher than that of 316 stainless steel.
- Different brands
316 brand: the old brand number is 0Cr17Ni12Mo2, while the new brand number is 06C17N12M2, namely ANSI TP316 and JIS SUS316.
316L brand: the old brand number is 00Cr17Ni14Mo2, while the new brand number is 022C17N12M2, that is, ANSI TP316L and JIS SUS316L.
- The distinction between strength
The yield strength: 210(N/MM2) for 316 stainless steel and 180(N/MM2) for 316L stainless steel.
The tensile strength: 520(N/MM2) for 316 and 480(N/MM2) for 316L.
The strength of 316L stainless steel is lower than that of 316, which makes it convenient for processing.
- Different corrosion resistance
316 L stainless steel has better resistance to intergranular corrosion, and it enjoys a better performance in corrosion resistance and rust resistance.
- Heat resistance
316 stainless steel can be used intermittently below 1600 degrees and continuously below 1700 degrees, but it is not recommended to use 316 stainless steel within the range of 800-1575 degrees.
The carbide precipitation resistance of 316L stainless steel is better than that of 316, and it can be used in the temperature range from 800 to 1575 degrees.
- Different welding methods
The welded section of 316 stainless steel needs the annealing treatment after being welded, while that of 316L stainless steel does not. 316L carbon is not easy to precipitate out and thus will not react with chrome to produce chromium carbide, which can reduce the corrosion in welding parts.
- Different prices
The price of 316L stainless steel is relatively higher than that of 316 by about 10%-15%
The differences between 316 stainless steel water bottle and 316L stainless steel water bottle
For consumers, there is no difference between 316L and 316 stainless steel bottles. However, for manufacturers and the manufacturing technique of wholesale stainless steel water bottles, the cost of 316L stainless steel water bottles is higher, while the welding in the manufacturing process is less difficult.
Some medical devices equipment and household appliances need customized double-walled stainless steel containers to isolate heat. If the working temperature is higher than 800℃, both 316 and 316L stainless steel can work very well. However, if the working temperature is higher than 800 degrees Celsius but lower than 1700 degrees Celsius, 316L stainless steel is a better choice.