316 Stainless Steel Powder

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316 stainless steel powder is a specialized material with a range of uses in industries from aerospace to biomedical. This guide provides a detailed overview of 316 stainless steel powder including its composition, properties, applications, grades, specifications, pricing, pros/cons, and more.

Composition of 316 Stainless Steel Powder

The elemental composition of 316 stainless steel powder is:

ElementWeight %
Iron (Fe)Balance
Chromium (Cr)16-18%
Nickel (Ni)10-14%
Molybdenum (Mo)2-3%
Manganese (Mn)<2%
Silicon (Si)<1%
Phosphorus (P)<0.045%
Sulfur (S)<0.03%
Carbon (C)<0.08%
Nitrogen (N)<0.1%

The high chromium and nickel content give 316 stainless its corrosion resistance. Molybdenum further enhances this property. The powder composition conforms to ASTM specifications for 316/316L grade with less than 0.08% carbon.

Overview of Properties and Characteristics

316 stainless steel powder offers an exceptional combination of properties:

Excellent corrosion resistanceDurability across range of chemical exposures
Outstanding strengthCan be sintered into high-strength parts
Bio-compatibilitySafe for use in medical devices/implants
Heat resistanceRetains strength and stability at high temperatures
WeldabilityEasy to fuse components made from this powder
MachinabilitySintered/+dewaxed parts can be machined, drilled, tapped etc
MagnetismSlightly magnetic due to nickel content

These properties enable usage across a wide variety of applications and industries.

316 stainless steel powder
316 Stainless Steel Powder 2

Applications and Uses of 316 Stainless Steel Powder

Some typical applications of 316 stainless steel powder include:

AerospaceEngine components, fittings, fasteners
AutomotiveValves, powdered metal parts
Chemical processingPumps, valves, tanks, pipes
Oil and gasWellheads, manifolds, downhole tools
BiomedicalImplants, surgical instruments, devices
3D printingAerospace and automotive prototypes

The corrosion resistance, strength and fabrication versatility make 316 stainless useful for demanding mechanical and structural applications. The biocompatibility enables medical uses as well.

Grades and Specifications of 316 Stainless Steel Powder

316 stainless steel powder is available in standard grades:

GradeASTM SpecificationNotes
316ASTM A240, A276, A479Standard molybdenum-bearing grade
316LASTM A240, A276, A479Low carbon variant, better welding

Popular size distributions:

Mesh RangeMicron Range
-140+325 mesh44-104 microns
-325 mesh<44 microns

Both gas atomized and water atomized powders are common. Custom particle size distributions are available.

Pricing for 316 Stainless Steel Powder

DistributorPrice Per Kg
Atlantic Equipment Engineers$25 – $60
Sandvik Osprey$45 – $150
Carpenter Powder Products$40 – $100
Höganäs$30 – $80
Kymera International$35 – $90

Prices vary based on quantity ordered, size distribution, production method (gas vs. water atomized), supplier terms and location.

Pros vs Cons of 316 Stainless Steel Powder

Excellent corrosion resistanceExpensive compared to carbon steel powder
High strength-to-weight ratioSurface oxidation can occur during sintering
Very fine particles achievableNeeds good venting/atmosphere control when sintering
Custom alloy grades availableMore difficult to compact into green parts vs. iron powder
Range of suppliers globally

For critical applications where properties outweigh costs, 316 stainless powder delivers performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What particle size 316L powder is best for laser sintering AM?

A: Generally less than 45 microns (-325 mesh) is preferred, with D90 under 35 microns ideal.

Q: What is the typical tapped density for 316L stainless steel powder?

A: Between 4.0 to 4.8 g/cc based on the atomization method and particle size distribution.

Q: Is stainless steel powder reusable after sintering?

A: Yes, unused oversize powder can be salvaged and sieved for reuse if handled properly to avoid contamination.

Q: Does 316L powder require sintering in vacuum or inert atmospheres?

A: Vacuum or argon/nitrogen atmosphere is recommended during sintering to prevent surface oxidation effects.


With its corrosion resistance, strength, and fabrication versatility, 316/316L stainless steel powder is a material of choice across applications from biomedical implants to aerospace components. Understanding its detailed composition, properties, specifications and sintering considerations allows engineers to leverage the benefits of this material.

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