Metal Injection Molding Materials | Stainless Steel 316/316L

Table of Contents
MIM 316/316L Stainless Steel Overview 
What is 316/316L Stainless Steel
Key Features of 316/316L Stainless Steel
Availability of 316/316L Stainless Steel
Chemical Composition of 316/316L Stainless Steel
Mechanical Properties of 316/316L Stainless Steel
Physical Properties of 316/316L Stainless Steel
Machinability and Weldability of 316/316L Stainless Steel
316/316L Stainless Steel Application in MIM
Medical and Dental Components
Aerospace and Automotive Parts
Chemical Processing Equipment
Electronic and Electrical Components
Consumer Goods
Conclusion
Neway MIM materials options

MIM 316/316L Stainless Steel Overview 

316/316L Stainless Steel is an austenitic stainless steel variant that has gained significant attention in metal injection molding due to its enhanced corrosion resistance. This blog post aims to comprehensively overview 316/316L Stainless Steel, its key features, availability, chemical composition, mechanical and physical properties, and machinability. Understanding these aspects is crucial for part designers and purchasers with procurement needs for MIM parts.

 

316-316l-stainless-steel-mim-powders

What is 316/316L Stainless Steel

316/316L stainless steel is a widely used austenitic stainless steel alloy known for its excellent corrosion resistance and good mechanical properties. Here are some key facts about 316/316L stainless steel:

- Composition: 316 stainless contains 16-18% chromium, 10-14% nickel, and 2-3% molybdenum. 316L has lower carbon content (<0.03%).

- Properties: 316/316L has excellent corrosion resistance, particularly against pitting and crevice corrosion in chloride environments. It also has good elevated temperature strength and creep resistance up to 800°C. 316L has superior weldability and formability than 316.

- Austenitic Structure: The austenitic face-centered cubic structure of 316/316L enables the combination of good ductility and high strength. The nickel stabilizes the austenite phase.

- Applications: 316/316L is commonly used in applications where corrosion resistance is essential such as marine, pharmaceutical, chemical processing, food processing, and power generation. 316L is favored for welded constructions.

- Fabrication: 316L is readily fabricated by standard methods like forming, machining, and welding. Post-weld annealing treatments may be required to restore corrosion resistance and mechanical properties.

- Variants: Adding molybdenum gives 316 better corrosion resistance than 304 grade. 316Ti and 316N contain titanium and nitrogen for improved intergranular corrosion resistance and strength.

In summary, 316/316L stainless steel provides an optimized combination of corrosion resistance, strength, fabricability, and cost. Its versatile properties make it popular for critical applications and components exposed to harsh environments.

Key Features of 316/316L Stainless Steel

316/316L Stainless Steel is an austenitic stainless steel with added molybdenum. This addition improves the alloy's corrosion resistance, making it better than 304, particularly in chloride environments. This makes 316/316L Stainless Steel a preferred choice for applications exposed to salt water or corrosive chemicals.

The low-carbon version, 316L, is particularly useful for welding applications. It minimizes carbide precipitation during welding, which helps maintain the material's corrosion resistance and mechanical properties.

Availability of 316/316L Stainless Steel

316/316L Stainless Steel is available in various forms to suit different applications. It can be procured as a round bar, flat bar, plate, sheet, wire, hexagon, and tube. This wide availability makes it a versatile material for various applications, from heat exchangers and pressure vessels to food preparation equipment and furnace parts. Of course, there is also stainless steel 316L powder, the most common material in metal injection molding. Its excellent corrosion resistance and surface treatment performance suit many industries, such as the metal watch accessories we wear, which can be made into various colors by PVD and are not afraid of sweat erosion.

metal-injection-molding-316-316L-watch-housing

Chemical Composition of 316/316L Stainless Steel

The chemical composition of 316/316L Stainless Steel contributes to its unique properties. Here's a table showing its composition:

Element

Percentage

Carbon (C)

Max 0.08%

Chromium (Cr)

16.5 - 18.5%

Molybdenum (Mo)

2.00 - 2.50%

Silicon (Si)

Max 1.00%

Phosphorus (P)

Max 0.05%

Sulphur (S)

Max 0.02%

Nickel (Ni)

Min 10.0%

Manganese (Mn)

Max 2.00%

Iron (Fe)

Balance

Mechanical Properties of 316/316L Stainless Steel

316/316L Stainless Steel exhibits impressive mechanical properties that make it suitable for various applications. Here are some of the typical mechanical properties:

Property

Value

Tensile Strength

520 - 680 MPa

Proof Stress

Min 220 MPa

Elongation A5

Min 40%

These properties make 316/316L Stainless Steel suitable for applications requiring high strength and excellent corrosion resistance.

Physical Properties of 316/316L Stainless Steel

The physical properties of 316/316L Stainless Steel also play a significant role in its applications. Here are some of its physical properties:

Property

Value

Density

8.00 kg/m³

Melting Point

1400 °C

Modulus of Elasticity

193 GPa

Electrical Resistivity

0.074 x10-6 Ω.m

Thermal Conductivity

16.3 W/m.K

Thermal Expansion

15.9 x10-6 /K

Machinability and Weldability of 316/316L Stainless Steel

When it comes to machinability, 316/316L Stainless Steel performs well. It can be effectively machined into various forms and shapes, making it a versatile material for different applications. Its machinability is one of the reasons why it's widely used in industries such as food preparation, furnace parts, and heat exchangers.

In terms of weldability, 316/316L Stainless Steel is excellent. It can be welded using common fusion and resistance techniques. This makes it a preferred choice for applications that require welding. The low-carbon version, 316L, is particularly useful for welding applications as it minimizes carbide precipitation, which helps maintain the material's corrosion resistance and mechanical properties.

316/316L Stainless Steel Application in MIM

316L stainless steel is a widely used material in Metal Injection Molding (MIM) due to its excellent corrosion resistance, high strength, and good mechanical properties. It is a low-carbon version of 316 stainless steel and contains additional molybdenum, which enhances its resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion in chloride environments. Here are some common applications of 316L stainless steel in MIM:

Medical and Dental Components

316L stainless steel is widely used to produce surgical instruments, dental implants, orthopedic implants, and other medical devices. Its corrosion resistance and biocompatibility make it suitable for applications requiring contact with bodily fluids or tissues.

Aerospace and Automotive Parts

316L stainless steel is used in MIM to manufacture components for aerospace and automotive industries, such as fuel system components, sensors, connectors, and fasteners. Its corrosion resistance and high strength-to-weight ratio make it suitable for challenging environments.

Chemical Processing Equipment

316L stainless steel is often employed in MIM to produce components used in chemical processing equipment, including valves, pumps, fittings, and flanges. Its resistance to corrosion by a wide range of chemicals makes it suitable for these applications.

Electronic and Electrical Components

MIM allows the production of complex shapes and intricate designs of electronic and electrical components using 316L stainless steel. These components can include connectors, terminals, shielding, and housings. The material's electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance are beneficial in such applications.

Consumer Goods

316L stainless steel is used in MIM for various consumer goods, including watches, jewelry, and accessories. The material's corrosion resistance, attractive appearance, and durability suit these applications.

It's important to note that the specific application of 316L stainless steel in MIM can vary based on the design requirements and performance characteristics needed for the component. Consulting with MIM manufacturers and material suppliers can provide more detailed guidance on utilizing 316L stainless steel in specific applications within the MIM process.

Conclusion

316/316L Stainless Steel is an austenitic stainless steel with added molybdenum, offering improved corrosion resistance, particularly in chloride environments. Its availability in various forms and excellent mechanical and physical properties make it a preferred choice for a wide range of applications.

Whether you're a part designer or a purchaser with procurement needs for MIM parts, understanding the properties and applications of 316/316L Stainless Steel can help you make informed decisions.

In conclusion, 316/316L Stainless Steel is a valuable material with a unique combination of properties, making it a preferred choice for various applications. As we continue exploring and understanding more about this material, its applications and importance in various industries will likely grow.

Neway MIM materials options

Stainless Steel

MIM 304l

Excellent corrosion resistance. High strength and hardness after heat treatment.

Biocompatible grades are used in medical applications. Widely used for small complex parts needing corrosion resistance.

MIM 316L

MIM 17-4 PH

MIM 420

MIM 440C

MIM 430

MIM 316

Low Alloy Steels

MIM 4605

Achieve very high tensile and yield strengths after heat treatment. Good toughness and ductility in heat-treated conditions.

Used for high-strength structural components.

MIM 4140

MIM 4340

MIM 2700 (FN08)

MIM 2200 (Fe-2Ni)

MIM 52100

MIM 8620

MIM 9310

MIM 430L

Tool Steel

MIM H13

Excellent hardness, wear, and abrasion resistance.Dimensional stability and strength maintained at high temperatures

Used for small precision tooling components like inserts and dies

MIM P20

MIM S7

MIM M2 

MIM D2

Magnetic

Fe-Ni Alloy

Tailored magnetic properties like high permeability and low core losses

Used in electronics components like inductors, relays, sensors

Fe-Si Alloy

Fe-Co Alloy

Copper Alloys

Copper 

Good corrosion resistance, electrical and thermal conductivity, Anti-friction performance

Used for electrical connectors, heat exchangers, fittings, bearings

Bronze

Brass

Tungsten and Copper alloy

Titanium Alloys

Ti-6Al-4V (Grade 5) 

High strength-to-weight ratio. Good high-temperature properties

Used widely in aerospace and medical implants

Heavy Alloys

Wu-Ni-Fe

Extremely high density, hardness

Used as counterweights, vibration-dampening weights

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