Stainless Steel 316 Sheet Metal Characteristics Explained
If you’ve used sheet metal in any projects before, you may be familiar with the facts. Sheet metal is metal that has been cut into thin, flat pieces that typically range in thickness anywhere from 30 to 8 gauge. It can be made of aluminum, brass, copper, tin, nickel, steel and more. Stainless steel is commonly used in commercial projects, more specifically, stainless steel 316 sheet metal.
Why use 316 stainless steel sheets?
Stainless steel 316 sheet metal is a molybdenum-bearing austenitic stainless steal, which leaves it more resistant to marine environments and chemicals. However, it isn’t the only type of stainless steel sheet metal. There are 3 very common stainless steel grades available: 304, 316 and 410.
Grade 304 stainless steel is commonly used due to its flexibility. It easily can be formed and welded while still maintaining a necessary resistance to corrosive materials.
Like grade 304, grade 316 stainless steel sheets offer corrosion resistance, maybe even at a higher level. It can exist in hotter temperatures than grade 304 stainless steel. It is extremely strong, which makes it useful for marine and chemical application.
What makes grade 410 stainless steel unique is that it is heat treatable, which means its physical and chemical properties can be modified through the use of extreme temperatures.
With all of these options, why is stainless steel 316 sheet metal the best option for your project?
Grade 316 is a great option due to its fantastic welding characteristics. It can be formed into a variety of different shapes, although because of its strength and how quickly it hardens, it may require heavy-duty equipment. Although alloy 316 is very similar to grade 304, it offers a higher corrosion resistance, which increases its longevity. In comparison, grade 410 offers the least corrosion resistance.
To be more technical, alloy 316 stainless steel contains 16% chromium, 10% nickel and 2% molybdenum. It’s this last element that helps the corrosion resistance when in contact with a marine environment. On the other hand, grade 304 only contains the first two elements, 18% chromium and 8% nickel.
When it comes to stainless steel sheet prices, this will vary depending on the size and scope of the project. Typically, it can cost anywhere from $200-$800 depending on size, quantity, dimensions and the sub metal type used.
All stainless steel 316 sheet metal supplied by St. Louis Pipe and Supply will meet or exceed ASTM, ASME, ANSI and/or API standards, per your required specifications including full documentation. The items are available in domestic or international supply, but if a particular item is not in stock at the moment of you request, we guarantee same day shipping or shortest lead time available.