There are various ways the 316 stainless steel square tube can be used. It has a place in a multitude of industries, such as marine, architecture, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, textile, dyeing, paper and environmental. This grade of steel has been alloyed with molybdenum, chromium and nickel, which makes it stronger than steels like 304 grades. It is an austenitic alloy, so it does not attract or hold magnets. Some of the applications 316 metals are used for include food prep equipment, pollution control equipment, boat fittings, heat exchangers, chemical processing equipment, tanks and condensers.
The 316 alloy metal is known as the marine grade stainless steel. This is due to its high resistance while in warm sea salt. It has a highly corrosion-resistant nature, which allows it to be in high heat and warm chloride environments. It has great weldability, machinability and formability. When needed, it can be severely deep drawn. Other types of cold forming that can be applied from lightly to severely include roll forming, cold heading, swaging and bending. The areas that have been severely cold formed should have the stresses removed through annealing.
Fusion methods of welding can be used for this grade of steel, which can be done either with or without filler metals. Post-weld annealing is recommended to keep max corrosion resistance. Annealing can’t be used to harden this grade of metal. When annealing after cold forming, forging or welding, it should be done at a temperature between 1900 and 2100 degrees F. Special consideration is needed to avoid warping and distortion. The machinability of this metal is poorer than 304 alloys, but can be done using curlers and chip breakers. Chip characteristics should be strong and tough.