410 vs 316 Stainless Steel

David
Etukudo

Stainless steel is a popular material because it produces sturdy and long-lasting products. However, not all stainless steel is the same with different grades made from a variety of processes and elements. Out of the lot, engineers often compare 410 stainless steel vs 316 stainless steel due to their similiar and desirable properties.

410 vs 316 Stainless Steel Bars
Courtesy: VIRWADIA METALS

In this article, you will learn more about the properties of 410 stainless steel vs 316 stainless steel, and compare their features.

410 Stainless Steel Properties

Unlike the 316 stainless steel, the 410 stainless steel is a martensitic grade that is primarily for making wrought products. Because of its high chromium content (11.5% – 13.5%) and relatively low carbon levels, it is resistant to corrosion. However, when in contact with certain chemicals or at temperatures exceeding 800 °F, the 410 can become susceptible to corrosion. As a result, it is used only for products in a mildly corrosive environment.

Generally, the 410 grade has two common variations. One hardens by thermal treatment to attain a wide range of mechanical properties. Also, it can be annealed soft for cold drawing and forming. These two variations have slightly different properties but are both magnetic. Moreover, the designation ‘410’ for this stainless-steel grade is from the AISI. Other designations of the same material from the UNS and British Standard (BS) are S41000 and 410S21 respectively.

316 Stainless Steel Properties

The 316 is an austenitic stainless steel grade with 2% – 3% molybdenum. As a result, the 316 provides better corrosion and pitting resistance properties than the 410 stainless steel. In addition, it is more resistant to high temperatures and less susceptible to chemical compounds that deteriorate the 410 grade.

316 also possesses excellent forming and welding characteristics such that thin sections do not require post-weld annealing. Thus, it is popular for products placed in highly corrosive environments. Another advantage is that the 316 comes in up to seven variations: 1/16-Hard, 1/8-Hard, Quarter-Hard, Half-Hard, Annealed, Cold Finished, and Hot Finished.

However, the 316 stainless steel is more expensive than the 410 grade because of the higher level of molybdenum and chromium content. The designation 316 is from the AISI, while those of UNS and BS are S31600 and 316S16 respectively.

410 vs 316 Features

The 410 and 316 grades are among the most common stainless steel that engineers use because of the desirable features they possess. Some of the differences in their features are highlighted in the following sections.

Composition of 410 vs 316

The fundamental difference between 410 and 316 stainless steel grades is their composition. One element that clearly distinguishes them is the presence of molybdenum in 316. Another is that the 316 has more chromium content (16% – 18%) in comparison to 410 (11.5% – 13.5%). Other elements that make up these alloys are in the table below.

Elements316 Stainless Steel410 Stainless Steel
Carbon %0 – 0.080.08 – 0.15
Iron %62 – 7283.5 – 88.4
Manganese %0 – 2.00 – 1.0
Nickel %10 – 140 – 0.75
Nitrogen %0 – 0.10
Phosphorus %0 – 0.0450 – 0.04
Silicon %0 – 0.750 – 1.0
Sulphur %0 – 0.030 – 0.03
Chemical Compositions of 316 vs 410 Stainless Steel

Corrosion Resistance

The presence of molybdenum and the increase in chromium levels in 316 gives it better corrosion resistant features. Moreover, molybdenum increases the resistance to chloride ion corrosion. As a result, the 316 is the preferable option for making products in marine and coastal applications.

Cost

Because of the presence of molybdenum and the higher chromium content in 316 stainless steel, it is more expensive than the 410 grade. This difference in cost becomes significant as the products or project gets larger.

Mechanical Strength

Another implication of the difference in the contents of 410 vs 316 stainless steel is that they have different mechanical properties as the following table highlights.

Stainless Steel GradeYield Strength (MPa)Tensile Strength (MPa)Fatigue Strength (MPa)Brinell Hardness
316230 – 850520 – 1180210 – 430160 – 360
410290 – 580520 – 770190 – 350190 – 240
Mechanical Properties of 410 vs 316 Stainless Steel

Examining the strength values of each steel grade reveals that the 316 can serve for wider range of fields. Although the 410 also has good strength levels, it is not as high as the 316, so there are limits to its application.

Machinability and Weldability

In the microstructure of steel, carbon acts as a hardening agent. So, the more of it in the steel’s makeup, the more difficult it is to machine the steel. Between 410 and 316 stainless steel, 410 has more carbon content, thus, making it more tedious to work with during fabrication. As a result, 410 grade is only used when machining speed is not a primary concern in manufacturing. In addition, carbon can act as a filler metal during welding, and result in problems such as cracking or porosity. So, the welding of the 410 grade requires higher skill level. Generally, preheating is necessary when welding thick sections of 410 stainless steel.

Application of 410 vs 316 Stainless Steel

When selecting between 410 vs 316 stainless steel, considerations include operating environment, in-service temperature, and strength requirements. As a result, the 410 grade is ideal for making the following:

  • Decorative parts.
  • Home appliances.
  • Fasteners in low to mid temperature applications.
  • Automobile exhaust systems.
  • Pump rods.
  • Kitchen utensils.

Due to superior strength and durability, 316 stainless steal is commonly used in making these parts:

  • Structural steel and forgings in the marine environment.
  • High temperature castings.
  • Pharmaceutical and medical equipment.
  • Steel pipes and wear resistant pipes.