Stainless Steel 316/316L

Your guide to 316/316L Stainless Steel Machining



An austenitic grade of stainless steel

Corrosion resistant to an even wider range of chemicals than 304

Very good machinability

316 is an ausentic stainless steel, second only to 304 in commerical importance. Its superior corrosion resistance comes from the addition of molybdenum, making it a little more expensive than 304.

This guide will take you through the main attributes, common applications, notes for designers and suitable finishing and treatments, as well as UK stock sizes and property tables. Don't forget to bookmark the page so you can refer back later.

If you are interested in 316/316L stainless machined parts, please scroll to the bottom of the page for more information about our service and to request a quote.

316 Guide: Properties, Applications and Design Considerations


What is 316 Stainless Steel?

316 is an austenitic grade of stainless steel, second only to 304 in commercial importance. 

It has improved corrosion resistance due to the addition of molybdenum. This makes it a little more expensive than 304.

316L is the low carbon version of 316.

316 Machinability

Cutting edges should be kept sharp as dull edges cause excess work hardening.

Cuts should be light but deep enough to prevent work hardening by riding on the surface of the material.

Chip breakers should be used to assist in ensuring swarf remains clear of the work.

Coolants and lubricants must be used in large quantities due to low thermal conductivity resulting in heat concentrating at the cutting edges.


Industry Examples: Marine | Food processing | Architecture & construction | Oil & gas | Pharmaceutical & medical | Transportation


Typical Components & Applications:

  • Processing equipment
  • Chemical & petrochemical equipment
  • Medical implants
  • Valves
  • Flanges and fittings
  • External architectural components in coastal areas such as:
    • Panelling
    • Railing
    • Trim
  • Dyeing equipment
  • Boat fittings
Main Attributes:
  • Excellent corrosion resistance (wider range of chemicals than 304)
  • Performs well when exposed to relatively high and sub-zero temperatures
  • Easily machined
  • Suited to all standard methods of welding
  • Subject to pitting and crevice corrosion in warm chloride environments
  • Ease of cleaning
  • Subject to stress cracking above 60°c
  • Good heat resistance – oxidation resistance in intermittent use up to 870°c and continuous use up to 925°c, however continuous use at 425-860°c is not recommended. In this instance, 316L is recommended.

Finishing & Treatments:

316 cannot be hardened by heat treatment.

Solution treatment or annealing can be done by rapid cooling after heating to 1010-1120°C.

See our Finishing Processes page for further information on services that we can facilitate.

Can we meet your stainless steel 316/316L machining needs? Contact us now
Get a Quote



316 Machining Stainless Steel Machined Parts


Penta Precision provides the following 316 machining services: 
  • CNC milling
  • CNC turning
  • Prototypes and batch runs
  • Insert installation
  • Part marking
  • Manual milling
  • Manual turning
  • Machining design advice
  • Design for manufacture service

Want to know more?


Find out how we can help you


Steel Machining


Stainless Steel Machining


Industry Sectors


Industry Sectors


Commitment To Quality


Commitment to Quality

Get A Quote