316L grade has the following advantage compare to regular 304 grade SST:
- Extremely stains, corrosion, oxidation and pitting resistant
- Considerably more resistant to humidity, chlorine, sulfuric acid, chlorides, bromides, iodides and fatty acids
- Excellent formability
- Easier to clean
- Rupture and tensile strength at high temperatures
- Excellent toughness and pressure performance at cryogenic temperatures
- 316L stainless steels (containing molybdenum) are required in the manufacture of certain pharmaceutical, medical, surgical or chemical equipment in order to avoid excessive metallic contamination
- Longer equipment life expectancy
The bottom line is that Type 316L stainless steel costs a little more upfront but you could save a whole lot on the back end.
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