316L grade stainless steel, also known as marine grade stainless steel, is a premium metal alloy consisting of primarily Iron, Chromium, Nickel and Molybdenum. 316L stainless steel is the superior choice for use in wet or corrosive environments as a result of its resistance to corrosion.

Are 316 and 316L grade stainless steel the same?

No. There are also small differences between the properties of 316 and 316L. The main difference being the percentage of Carbon used in the fabrication of each type of steel. 316L contains less Carbon. You can easily remember the difference between 316 and 316L once you learn that ‘L’ stands for Low Carbon.

The benefit of using the low Carbon stainless steel for fabrication of items such as drains is that it creates a stronger weld less likely to decay or corrode. The superior welding property makes 316L stainless the most functional choice for construction and marine use where welding is common.

What is the elemental breakdown of 316L stainless steel?

The table below demonstrates the approximate elemental composition of 316 and 316L stainless steel for a comparison. Despite the seemingly slight differences, 316L grade is the choice for steel used in fabricating stainless steel linear strip drains, due to its stronger welding properties.

ElementType 316L (Approx %)Type 316 (Approx %)
Carbon0.030.08
Chromium16-1816-18
Nickel10-1410-14
Molybdenum2-32-3
Nitrogen0.10.1
IronBalanceBalance
Manganese22
Phosphorus0.0450.045
Sulfur0.030.03
Silicon0.750.75

What about 304 grade stainless steel?

When compared to 304 grade stainless steel, commonly known as food grade stainless, 316L stainless exhibits superior corrosion resistance due to its metal alloy properties. 316L stainless is also holds its strength better than 304 when subjected to high heat temperatures such as welding and use in wet environments. 304 grade stainless steel is more durable when subjected to acidic environments, such as those found in kitchen and food use.


If you have any questions regarding the type and quality of steel we use to fabricate our strip drains from, give us a call on 0421 436 360 or send us an email info@stripdrains.com.au

Difference between 316L Grade stainless steel and 316 Grade stainless steel diagram