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Difference Between AISI 316 and AISI 316L

The aisi 316 stainless steel and aisi 316L stainless steel produced by Yaoyi meet the ISO9001 standard. The complete inspection process and production management monitoring ensure the quality of the product. At the same time, we purchase raw materials from the world’s largest steel company: Baosteel, and provide the highest quality guarantee for your raw materials starting from the quality of hot rolled coils. With our most favorable market prices, Yaoyi Stainless Steel can open more markets for you and lasting raw material protection.

Related Resource

Yaoyi Stainless Steel Product Catalog

Stainless Steel Material Standard Comparison Table

ASTM A240 Technical Data

ASTM A182 Technical Data

Aisi 316 Stainless Steel and Aisi 316L Stainless Steel: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Stainless steel 316 and 316L graded by the AISI, is a steel alloy with chromium and sometimes nickel, that is highly resistant to corrosion and has a high quality appearance. 


It has good structural strength, abrasion resistance, and superior resistance to oxidation. AISI approved stainless steel is considered more durable than other steels for use in food packaging, tools, machine parts, and medical equipment. 


Yaoyi 316 Stainless Steel wholesales 316 stainless steel and aisi 316 stainless steel and is exported to all over the world, used in high corrosive and high quality working environments. If you are looking for a high-quality 316 stainless steel and aisi 316 stainless steel supplier, yaoyi stainless steel is your best partner.

ASTM A240 Material: Applications and Classifications

What is AISI??

How to identify a stainless steel graded by the AISI?

AISI 316 and 316L most common application

How good is Aisi?

Is Aisi Suitable For Outdoor Use?

Is Aisi Rustproof?

How Can I Tell If My Aisi is 316 or 316L?

316 Or 316L Aisi – Which is better?


What is AISI?

Wondering what AISI is? AISI is a grading system for alloys and also stands for “American Iron and Steel Institute”.


The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) is a non-profit organization that represents the steel industry in public policy and is responsible for the research and use of new steels and steelmaking technologies.


The Yaoyi group has been a member of AISI for a long period of time now, our Stainless steel has gone through various research to achieve the best quality you can get in the market.


Our 316 and 316L stainless steels graded by the AISI have an added layer of resistance to atmospheric corrosion compared to other steel manufacturers.


You should also note that the Stainless steel 316 graded by the AISI has a high carbon content, making it more difficult to process, whereas Stainless steel 316L AISI approve has a low carbon content, making the stainless steel soft and weaker but easier to manufacture and weld.


Read on:AISI 430 Stainless Steel   

How to identify a stainless steel graded by the AISI?

You can Identify the Stainless steel approved by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) research facility by looking at the chemical content of the stainless steel.

AISI approved chemical composition for the stainless steel 304 and 316L should have:





1. Internal Structure


The internal structure of Stainless steel 316 and 316L graded by the AISI is composed of Carbon, Manganese, Phosphorus, Sulfur, Silicon, Chromium, Nickel, Molybdenum, Nitrogen and Iron.


Yaoyi Stainless steel 316 and 316L is a molybdenum bearing austenitic stainless steel. The higher nickel and molybdenum content in this grade allows it to demonstrate better overall corrosion resistant properties. 


The non-profit organization American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) together with our experts had checked and verified our manufacturing plant to produce the best quality stainless steel you can get in the market.


2. Corrosion Resistance


AISI 316 and 316L is also called the “Marine Grade Stainless Steel” because of its excellent resistance to corrosion that involves acidic content from the salt water.


The corrosion resistance of Yaoyi stainless steel 316L that has been approved by the AISI has the superior high corrosion resistance because of its high molybdenum content compared to Stainless steel 316, also because of the low carbon content of 316L it is also easier for you to machine or weld the product compared to Stainless steel 316.


3. Chemical Composition 


The chemical composition of the Stainless steel is the most important factor that you should look upon.


The chemical composition of the stainless steel will determine its durability, atmospheric resistance, High and low temperature resistance, ease of fabrication, aesthetic appeal and hygienic properties.


Yaoyi stainless steel manufacturing has been approved and recognized by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) because of the extensive research made by our expert to manufacture an excellent stainless steel that has the superior properties to look upon compared to other Stainless steel manufacturing companies.


Table of elements for AISI Stainless steel 316 and 316L.


Try for free AISI 4140 Low Alloy Steel  


316L Stainless Steel

316 Stainless Steel

Cr (Chromium)


16.5 – 18.5 %

Ni (Nickel)


10 – 13 %

Mn (Manganese)

<= 2 %

<= 2 %

N (Nitrogen)


0.11 %

S (Sulphur)


0.03 %

C (Carbon)


<= 0.07 %

Si (Silicon)

<= 1 %

<= 1 %

P (Phosphorus)


0.045 %

Mo (Molybdenum)


2 – 2.5 %

4. Physical Properties 

AISI stainless steel 316 has this recognizable resistance for pitting and crevice corrosion in chloride environments, while AISI Stainless steel 316L has a low carbon content that makes it immune to grain boundary carbide precipitation


AISI 316 and 316L Physical Properties:

Physical Properties 

316L Stainless Steel

316 Stainless Steel


0.29 lb/in³

0.29 lb/in³

Melting Point



Thermal Expansion

15.9 x 10-6/K

15.9 x 10-6/K

Modulus of Elasticity in Tension

29 X 106

29 X 106

Thermal Conductivity

68 -212°F

68 -212°F

Electrical Resistivity

0.74 x 10-6 Ω.m

0.74 x 10-6 Ω.m

(Note: AISI 316 and 316L have the same Physical properties when it comes to melting point, density, modulus of elasticity in tension and modulus of shear.)


5. Mechanical Properties 


The two types of steel are distinguished by their addition of more chromium, which increases corrosion resistance and hardness, respectively. In addition, 316 and 316L differ from each other in the amount of molybdenum added to the parent alloy, which has a significant impact on mechanical properties.


Mechanical Properties of AISI 316 and 316L.


Mechanical Properties

316 Stainless Steel

316L Stainless Steel

Tensile Strength (Mpa) Psi





Yield Strength (Mpa) Psi





Elongation In 51mm



Hardness Max Brinell Rb





6. Weldability 


The AISI 316 and 316L of Yaoyi stainless steel manufacturing has an excellent weldability standard by all fusion methods, both with and without filler metals.


When doing a heavy welded section, you may require post weld-annealing, also Yaoyi Stainless steel manufacturing do not recommend the use of Oxyacetylene welding because based on our research, it is not found very effective when joining stainless steel 316 and 316L.


7. Workability 


AISI stainless steel 316 is not just harder to machine but requires special tools to cut, the machinability rate of stainless steel 316 is 60.


You need slower speed and higher feed when working with stainless steel 316, one solution is using sharp tools and replacing the moment they wear down.


Compared to AISI 316, AISI 316L has an up to 0.03% carbon content only that makes it easier to work with, Stainless steel 316L are excellent to use when you want to avoid weld corrosion.


It also has a high melting point for up to 2,500 degrees fahrenheit or 1,370 degrees celsius.


Here at Yaoyi stainless steel manufacturing accepts any length and shape the way you want your stainless steel to be cut, just hit the contact us button to know more about our products.

Get it now:A complete guide to AISI 410 Stainless Steel  


8. Heat Treatment


Heat treatment is used based on the stainless type and reason why they need to undergo heat treatment.


There are 4 heat treatment methods that you should know about.


Heat treatment is usually executed under given measurements to avoid  carburization, decarburization and scaling on the metal surface.


Try for free information about the A Complete Guide to AISI 321 Stainless Steel  


AISI 316 and 316L most common application

Stainless steels are ideal materials for the various applications in which corrosion resistance, heat resistance, and high strength are required. Stainless steels are very stable and resistant to various corrosive chemicals and are widely used in the manufacturing of food and beverage cans, containers for pharmaceuticals, clothing, and in pipelines.


AISI 316 and 316L most common application:



Read more:A complete guide to AISI 304L Stainless Steel  

How good is Aisi?

Yaoyi Stainless Steel Manufacturing has been a member of the American Iron and Steel Institute for many years now.


Being a member of the AISI group give us:



Keep reading: A complete guide to AISI 303 Stainless Steel  

Is Aisi Suitable For Outdoor Use?

Stainless steel 316 and 316L approve by the AISI is most common use to Oil & petroleum refining equipment, Aerospace structures, Stainless steel base plates, Food processing equipment, Pulp and paper processing equipment, Soap and photographic handling equipment, Textile industry equipment, Architectural, and Pharmaceutical processing equipment

So to answer your question if AISI 316 and 316L is suitable for outdoor use?


YES, It is approved by the expert to use the AISI 316 and 316L for indoor and outdoor purposes.

Get it now:AISI 302 Stainless Steel   

Is Aisi Rustproof?

AISI 316 and 316L has a high resistance to corrosion, therefore AISI 316 and 316L can not be considered as a rustproof steel.


Here at Yaoyi Stainless steel manufacturing with the help of the American Iron and Steel institute (AISI) had improved the Stainless steel 316 and 316L for it to have an excellent resistance to different types of atmospheric corrosion.

Read more about 304 Stainless Steel Sheet: Technicalities, Features and Applications  

How Can I Tell If My Aisi is 316 or 316L?

You can tell the difference between AISI 316 and 316L based on their carbon content. 


AISI stainless steel 316 has a high carbon content that makes it harder and kinda difficult to process and 316L has a low carbon content that makes it weak and soft but easy to work with.


You can also tell if your Stainless steel is 316 and 316L based on the sticker that the Yaoyi attached to the steel.


Learn more about 316 Stianless Steel  

316 Or 316L Aisi – Which is better?

This will depend on what you are going to do or work with, bear in mind that  316 is kinda harder to process and work with because of the steel hardness and AISI 316L is kinda weak and soft but easy to work with .


AISI stainless steel 316 is recommended to pharmaceutical industry, chemical industry, pressure vessels, cistern and pipe ,medical equipment where non-surgical steel, marine equipment, etc.


AISI stainless steel 316L is recommended to Lifestyle/Consumer (decorations ,spectacle frames ,watches, other jewellery, functional elements in electronic housing and accessories) , Automotive industry, Aerospace industry, turbine industry, and many more.

Try for free 304 Stainless Steel Pipe: Classification, Types and Applications  


Stainless steel is one of the most commonly used materials for many applications. It offers a very attractive advantage over the other materials such as aluminum. 


One of the most important advantages of it is that stainless steel has high resistant to rust. That means, it’s easier to clean and has higher resistance to corrosion and environmental damages. 


In addition to that, stainless steel is ideal for kitchen and bathroom uses , and has the added benefit that stainless steel is a naturally occurring element. Stainless steel is one of the most popular metals used in a wide variety of applications, and it’s easy to find stainless steel products in our daily lives.


Aisi stainless steel 316 and 316L are basically popular of the steel grades used by the industry. These grades are very important for every stainless steel fabrication process. 


They also have a very important role in the mechanical and physical performances. Based on different applications, the Aisi grades have different characteristics, for example, the higher the grades are, the higher the corrosion resistance.

Read my article on The reason why we can produce the perfect 301 Stainless Steel Strips?