Stainless Steel: Materials We Work With
Stainless Steel can be identified in several grades, and today we’re covering how to differentiate between them, and what they’re used for.
316L grade stainless steel, also known as marine grade stainless steel, is a premium metal alloy consisting of primarily Iron, Chromium, Nickel and Molybdenum. 316L stainless steel is the superior choice for use in wet or corrosive environments as a result of its resistance to corrosion.
Are 316 and 316L stainless steel the same?
No they’re not the same material. There are also small differences between the properties of 316 and 316L. The most prominent difference being the percentage of Carbon used in the fabrication of each type of steel. 316L contains less Carbon. Remember the difference between 316 and 316L once you learn ‘L’ stands for Low Carbon.
The benefit of using low Carbon stainless steel for fabrication of items such as laser cutting is that it creates a stronger weld less likely to decay and rust. The superior welding property makes 316L stainless the most usable choice for construction and marine use where welding is common.
What is 316L stainless steel made from?
The table below demonstrates the approximate composition of 316 and 316L stainless steel elements for a comparison. Despite the slight differences, 316L grade is the choice for steel used in fabricating stainless steel due to its stronger welding properties.
|Element||Type 316L (Approx %)||Type 316 (Approx %)|
What is 304 grade stainless steel?
When compared to 304 grade stainless steel¹, most commonly known as food grade stainless, 316L stainless exhibits better corrosion resistance due to its metal alloy properties. 316L stainless is also holds its strength better than 304 when withstanding high heat temperatures such as welding and use in wet environments. 304 grade stainless is more durable when subjected to acidic environments, such as those found in the kitchen and with food use.
Other materials we work with include:
- Mild Steel
- Sheet Metal
Contact us today to learn more about our metal laser cutting and fabrication services.