316 Marine Grade Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a metal that we use in everyday products such as cutlery, kitchen appliances, car parts and more. It is a tough, durable material that can resist corrosion due to the high levels of chromium it contains.
However, not all stainless steel is created equal – different grades of stainless steel will react differently with different environments. marine grade 316 stainless steel is specially formulated to combat the effects of harsher natural elements, notably salt water. It does this by adding extra molybdenum to the mix, which makes it far more resistant to the pitting and crevice corrosion that can occur in chloride-rich environments.
Marine grade 316 is also better suited to applications that are exposed to sea-spray than those that are submerged in seawater, for example, stair railings that are located near the beach or on board boats. Salty sea-spray can cause problems because of concentrated concentrations of salt that are deposited in tight spaces, forming pockets of acidic salt. These are known as localised crevice corrosion and can be much more difficult to overcome than general corrosion caused by rusting. Marine grade 316 can help prevent this by containing more molybdenum than other austenitic grades, which makes it a good choice for marine environments.
As well as being more resistant to corrosion than other grades of stainless steel, marine grade 316 is also a harder material than standard 304, making it less likely to deform or bend when stressed. This is important because it can help to protect the integrity of the structure, particularly if the stress is applied in an area that would normally be considered weak such as a corner or fold.
What is 316 Marine Grade Stainless Steel?
316 marine grade stainless steel is available in a variety of forms, including tubing and sheet. This makes it suitable for a range of marine and other industrial applications, including plumbing, construction and chemical processing equipment. It is also an ideal choice for kitchen and bathroom fixtures as it has excellent anti-rust properties that are a result of its higher molybdenum content.
316 marine grade is one of the most common variations of stainless steel, along with the lower carbon variant 316L and the higher molybdenum-containing hastelloy and monel. Each has its own benefits, and it is important to consider the environment and application before deciding which of these grades is best for your project. If you are working in a marine environment then 316 marine grade is a sensible option to consider, but for general deployment scenarios that will not be submerged or exposed to harsh chemicals 304 may be a more cost-effective solution. In either case, regular cleaning and maintenance will keep your stainless steel in the best possible condition.
Marine grade 316 stainless steel stands as a hallmark of durability and resilience in the face of harsh marine environments. With its exceptional corrosion resistance, strength, and aesthetic appeal, this alloy has become a cornerstone material in various maritime applications, ranging from boat fittings to offshore structures. Its unique composition and properties make it an ideal choice for prolonged exposure to saltwater, humidity, and other corrosive elements commonly found in marine settings.