Differences between 316 and 316L Stainless Steel

The differences between a 316L and a 316 straight grade are two-fold both in chemistry and mechanical properties.  The L grade has a lower maximum carbon limit and the straight grade has increased mechanical properties.  If material is certified as straight grade, the carbon content would have to be at a level of 0.030% maximum in order to be dual certified as 316L/316 grade. (presumably the mechanicals would have already been met). If the material is certified as 316L that implies the carbon is a t a maximum level of 0.030% and this can only be certified to the straight grade if the increased mechanicals are met. Below is  a summary comparing the two grades for both the flat and bar product.

SpecificationASTM Grade Carbon% max TensileKsi min YieldKsi min Elongation% min Reduction of Area% min
A479-bar 316L annealed 0.030 70 25 30 40
A479-bar 316annealed 0.080 75 30 30 40
A240-flat 316Lannealed 0.030 70 25 40 na
A240-flat 316annealed 0.080 75 30 40 na


If carbon is at or below 0.030% and tensile is at 75KSI min (and yield is at 30 min), the grade becomes dual certified.

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Differences between 316 and 316L Stainless Steel