Marine-grade stainless steel, also known as 316 stainless steel, is a superior material used in marine applications where protection from salt water is critical. Over time, salt water can cause a range of problems for boats and structures through bacteria growth, corrosion, and excess pressure. As a result, a high-quality steel such as 316 is required due to its outstanding corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, and protection from brine and salt spray, among other solutions. In this blog post, we look at a brief background of marine grade steel, its benefits, and its primary applications.

Properties of Marine-Grade Steel

Although all types of stainless steel are corrosion-resistant to some extent, marine-grade stainless steel offers superior corrosion, rust and saltwater resistance. In marine grade steel, the 2-3% molybdenum is what enhances its corrosion properties and toughness. The three main properties of marine grade steel include its aesthetic appeal, corrosion resistance and durability and toughness, and due to its extended lifespan, it is a cost-effective material for a wide range of marine applications.

It is worth mentioning that grade 304 stainless steel is often used as a cheaper alternative to grade 316. 304 is a versatile steel that is used in settings where moderate acidic or caustic solutions are used, such as kitchens. Unfortunately, 304 does not possess as good resistance to chloride solutions, and therefore 316 is preferred in harsh environments.

Applications of Marine-Grade Steel

316 stainless steel is used in a variety of settings. It can be used in high temperature applications, including chemical processing equipment, furnaces and heat exchangers, and jet engine components, to name a few. However, as its name suggests, 316 marine-grade steel is used in many applications where components are exposed to salt water.

Boat Components

Marine-grade steel is typically used in boat components such as accents, fasteners, hinges, propeller shafts and other similar pieces. These components can be modified into various shapes and sizes, making them suitable for applications that require specific measurements.

Docks and Marinas

316 stainless steel is used in the construction of docks and marinas because it offers enhanced durability and safety. Aside from its structural properties, it also has an aesthetic appeal.


The steel can also be used to manufacture any part that comes into contact with saltwater and marine environments, as its high strength and corrosion resistance help to prolong service life and improve safety measures. This includes floor gratings, railings, ornamental tubing, and more.


Originally, 316 steel was used in the paper industry because it is highly resistant to sulphur compounds – a common component in producing paper. Now, however, it is has a wide range of applications and is suitable for marine-based applications. Masteel are a UK-based steel supplier with clients worldwide and we are dedicated to meeting the needs of our customers and providing high-quality steels for various applications.
Contact Masteel today to learn more about marine-grade steel or any of the services we offer.