The 316L stainless steel square tube is a molybdenum-bearing stainless steel that is non-magnetic. It has been alloyed with a high content of chromium and nickel. The combination of metals it has been alloyed with makes this steel very strong and corrosion resistant. It has excellent elevated temperature tensile and is ideal for forming and welding projects. Compared to 304 stainless steels, this metal has better resistance to corrosion, especially in chloride environments, high heat and warm sea water. The applications that this metal is frequently used for include food prep equipment, lab benches, boat pump trims, textile equipment, evaporators, rubber machinery and heat exchangers. It is a highly versatile metal, so it is popularly used within a wide variety of industries.
This stainless steel grade has excellent weldability, which can be done with or without filler metals, using any standard fusion methods. It’s not required to perform post-weld annealing. However, annealing is needed after forging and extreme cold forming. When annealing 316L steels, it’s recommended to use heat levels between 1900 and 2100 degrees F. Special consideration is needed to prevent hot cracking. Heat treatment cannot be used to make this steel hardened.
The maximum temperatures that should be used for forging should be between 2100 and 2300 degrees F, and not below 1700 degrees F. Annealing should be performed afterward to maintain corrosion resistance in the metal. Different varieties of cold working can be used to form this steel grade, such as cold heading, roll forming, deep drawing, bending and swaging. This too needs annealing after severe cold forming has been done to certain parts. This will help to relieve stresses.