The Differences Between 316 and 316L Stainless Steel Tubes

316 and 316L stainless steel tubes are normally thought of to be the same, here we will show you the differences that they contain. Alloys tend to be quite similar in terms of how they look like. This is the reason why closely related stainless steel like 316 and 316L stainless steel are thought of to be the same. However, there are some clear differences between the two, so you can figure out which one you would want to use. Whether you want the top 316 metric stainless steel tube or the 316L tube, it would be useful to get to know both so that you can properly decide things for yourself.

There are suppliers online where you can buy the top 316 metric stainless steel tube as well as the 316L steel tube. Knowing the qualities of each and being able to compare it with one another would help out. Though they may share some similarities, they also share a lot of differences and you must get to know these.

Similarities of 316 and 316L Stainless Steel

One of the most common similarities between the two stainless steel grades is that they are extensively used in food industries. This is because they exhibit great resistance to corrosion and they are known to be strong even at high temperatures. Both of them are not going to be hardened through heat treatment but they can easily be drawn or pulled. Annealing is usually done on them to increase their ductility and reduce their hardness to accept some deformation. This is so that they can be shaped the way that they are supposed to. It would require high amounts of heat to achieve the desired result.

Different Qualities of the 316L and 316 Stainless Steel Grades

The major difference between the two is that 316 stainless steel grade has more carbon content versus the 316L. After all, the ‘L’ in 316L stands for low and this is why it should be easier to remember this difference between the two. However, besides this obvious fact, they do not have any differences at all. They are quite similar to each other in a lot of ways. They are both durable, great choices for situations when in a lot of stress and amazing at resisting corrosion effectively.


For things such as welding projects, it is better to use the 316 stainless steel because it is more prone to being welded versus using the 316L stainless steel. However, 316L is quite popular when it comes to marine projects as well as construction because it is great for high corrosion purposes due to it containing less carbon content versus the 316 stainless steel. Depending on what you are planning to use it for, it would be easy to select which one would be more appropriate for you. In terms of prices, they normally have the same price so it should not matter that much whatever you choose to use. You just have to pick the one that suits your plans most so you are sure it is going to be worth the money that you are going to buy it for.

Qualities of the 316 Stainless Steel

316 stainless steel is known to contain about 3% of molybdenum which increases its capacity to resist corrosion. This is also why it is great when you pit it against chloride solutions that may cause discoloration to it. It is great to use whether or not the environment is going to be acidic or at high temperature. It is great at protecting itself versus things like sulfuric acid, acetic acid, formic acid, hydrochloric acid, and alkaline chlorides and the like. It is normally used for the construction of things such as furnaces, for jet parts, for equipment in photography, in pulp paper and a whole lot more.

Qualities of the 316L Stainless Steel

The known intensive property of this stainless steel would be that it has a lower content of carbon. It helps in the carbide precipitation and it helps out a lot when there is required welding to do and it helps to ensure that there will be great resistance to corrosion. This is why it is used for a lot of purposes including the food industry, boat fittings, heat exchangers besides the chemical processing and pharmaceutical industries too.

These are the qualities that should help you to get to know these steel grades better and help you figure out which one would be more suitable for your purpose, In the end, choose a supplier who can offer a wide range of stainless steel grade tubes and pipes at affordable prices. Ensure the quality of these tubes is not compromised when you get them in bulk from the suppliers.

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