Hastelloy C276 vs SS 316L – What’s the Difference

Hastelloy C276 vs SS 316L

Choosing the right material for your equipment is crucial in various industries. From chemical processing to marine applications, selecting a material that can withstand extreme temperatures, pressures, and corrosion is important. Two popular stainless steel alloys used in these settings are Hastelloy C276 and SS 316L. While both are corrosion-resistant, they differ in composition, strength, and performance. This article will compare and contrast Hastelloy C276 and SS 316L to help you decide which alloy is best for your application.

What is Hastelloy C276?

Hastelloy C276 is a nickel-molybdenum-chromium alloy with excellent corrosion resistance in various aggressive media. It resists pitting and crevice corrosion, as well as stress corrosion cracking and has superior weldability to other alloys.

What is SS 316L?

SS 316L is austenitic stainless steel, known as low carbon grade 316. It is a corrosion and heat-resistant alloy that contains 16-18% chromium, 11-14% nickel, and 2-3% molybdenum. It has superior strength at high temperatures and a wide range of industrial applications, including food processing equipment.

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Difference Between Hastelloy C276 and SS 316L


Hastelloy C276 is a nickel-molybdenum-chromium alloy that offers exceptional resistance to various corrosive media, including strong acids, pitting, and crevice corrosion. It contains approximately 15% molybdenum, 16% chromium, and 4.5% iron, with the remaining balance being nickel and other trace elements. On the other hand, SS 316L is a low-carbon, molybdenum-alloyed austenitic stainless steel that is highly resistant to pitting and crevice corrosion. It contains approximately 17% chromium, 12% nickel, and 2% molybdenum, with the rest being iron and other trace elements.

Strength and Performance

Hastelloy C276 is known for its excellent resistance to high-temperature degradation and performs well even in the most corrosive environments. Its high molybdenum and chromium content makes it resistant to stress corrosion cracking and chloride-induced pitting. Additionally, Hastelloy C276 can maintain its strength at temperatures above 2000°F, making it an ideal choice in applications with high temperatures. On the other hand, SS 316L has a lower yield strength of 30 KSI than Hastelloy C276. However, it is a highly versatile alloy and can perform well in various applications due to its low carbon content, making it easy to weld and bend.

Corrosion Resistance

Hastelloy C276 is highly corrosion-resistant in various chemicals, including sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, and hypochlorite solutions, making it an excellent choice in chemical processing applications. It can also withstand high-velocity seawater and brine solutions. In contrast, SS 316L is more susceptible to corrosion in acidic environments. However, it is still highly resistant to pitting and crevice corrosion and can withstand exposure to seawater and other chloride-rich environments.

Cost Considerations

Hastelloy C276 is a premium alloy and more expensive than SS 316L. Its high cost is due to its exceptional resistance to corrosion and high-temperature environments, making it an ideal choice in critical applications requiring maximum performance. SS 316L is a more economical choice and is commonly used in applications where lower cost and general corrosion resistance are sufficient.


In conclusion, Hastelloy C276 and SS 316L are valuable alloys in their respective fields. While Hastelloy C276 offers exceptional resistance to a wide range of corrosive media and can withstand high-temperature environments, SS 316L is an economical choice that still offers excellent corrosion resistance and is easy to weld and bend. When choosing between these two alloys, it is important to consider your specific application needs and cost constraints. Consulting with a materials expert can help you select the right alloy for your requirements.



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