316 Stainless Steel

Material Summary

Improved corrosion resistance is the primary reason to choose 316 SS over 304 SS. The reason for this increased corrosion resistance is molybdenum. To enhance these properties further, we electropolish the finished product, which greatly enhances corrosion resistance and provides additional benefits.

Type 316 stainless steel is an austenitic grade of stainless steel. The term “austenitic” is a reference to its face centered cubic crystalline structure. It is essentially non-magnetic. However, during cold working, it can become magnetic.

  • Corrosion Resistance
  • Hardness
  • Longevity
  • Formability
  • Weldability
  • Ductility

316 Stainless Steel Specifications


316 stainless is commonly found in several different industries, including the medical, aerospace, and pharmaceutical industries.


316 stainless is an alloy composed of the following elements.

Type 316 Stainless Steel Composition, %
CrMoNiC ≤Mn ≤P ≤Si ≤NS ≤Fe
16 – 182 – 310 –

Tensile Strength

Tensile strength measures the amount of stress that one square inch of material can endure before breaking. It is commonly measured in pounds per square inch. A 1” x 1” material that is 100,000 PSI can endure 100,000 pounds before breaking. Wire is usually drawn using a PSI that is expressed as a range (e.g., 80,0000 to 100,000 PSI). Because 316 SS wire is drawn at different diameters, the breaking load will depend on the tensile strength and the wire diameter. As you would expect, the larger wire diameters can support a heavier load.


316 stainless steel has a higher cost when compared to 304 stainless steel. The higher cost is driven by the addition of molybdenum.

Advantages and disadvantages

316 Stainless Steel


Corrosion Resistance

Superior resistance to corrosion and oxidation.


Relatively easy to bend, flatten, and shape.


Relatively few welding issues.



Higher cost relative to 304 stainless steel.

316 Stainless Steel

Product Examples


316 stainless is especially well suited for stainless steel products in the medical industry. It can be shaped into a wide variety of wire and metal forms. Most of the medical wire forms and metal parts that Pronto makes are electropolished.

Electropolishing provides additional benefits. After electropolishing, 316 stainless steel has much greater corrosion resistance. In addition, electropolishing creates an oxygen rich, hydrogen depleted surface that inhibits the growth of bacteria. Finally, on a microscopic level, electropolishing will smooth out the surface of a part, leading to improved cleanability.

Automotive and Aerospace

Because of its hardness, 316 stainless wire forms have many uses in the automotive and aerospace industries. Many component parts in both industries require its corrosion resistance and hardness to keep components operating in top condition. These parts are often electropolished to further enhance corrosion resistance.


316 stainless is used in a wide variety of pharmaceutical applications. These products are electropolished for improved corrosion resistance and smoothness.

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