What is 316 Stainless Steel?
316 Stainless Steel is one of the most common metals used today. The only metal that is used more than 316 and 316L is 304, and it is variants, which you can read about here. However, while everyone may utilize 304 on land, 316 is universally used more because of it is the ability to be used in aquatic conditions. While it is used in the conditions, it is also used in surgical stainless steel.
Attributes of 316
Resistance to Oxidation – The main reason why 304 and 316 are used too often is that it is extremely hard for these materials to rust. They are extremely sturdy, and strong top holds up a great deal of weight, but they can hold it for extreme amounts of time. This accessibility mixed with it is the low cost the reason why the two are so commonly used.
Corrosion Resistance and Pitting Resistance – Both sheets of steel have the ability to withstand natural corrosion from things such as food service and the natural oils of constant touching. However, the biggest difference is that marine corrosion usually causes something called pitting, which is when corrosion occurs and burrows holes into specific areas of the metal. While 304 has problems with pitting and water, 316 can withstand such plights for much longer than 304 and most other stainless.
Where it is most often used?
Aquatic Construction – As for the reasons mentioned above, the pitting and corrosion resistance make 316 a shoe-in for when you are building around coastal regions or near bodies of water in general. Whether you need it for a dock or water mill, or would just like to localize the exterior of a vehicle so that it is more rain resistant, there is a myriad of reasons why you should choose 316.
Biomedical Equipment – The same corrosion resistance and resistance to malleability is what makes 316 great for surgical materials. Anything from scalpels to scissors is best when made with 316 stainless.
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