The last thing you need is your lab equipment rusting out on you. When considering your specific application needs for new stainless steel equipment, a recurring question in the market remains—what’s the difference between 304 and 316? When should you consider 316? In scenarios demanding the utmost vigilance, you may discover you require 316L stainless steel.

304 Stainless steel is composed of 18% chromium and 8% nickel. 316 Stainless steel is made up of chromium and nickel at 16% and 10% respectively, but also includes molybdenum—a silvery-white metal that’s highly resistant to corrosion.

316L Stainless steel contains the same corrosion-resistant materials as 316, but includes the added benefit of a lower carbon content—eliminating the opportunity for excessive metallic contamination and making cracking less likely. Both 316 and 316L are able to withstand chlorides and chlorinated solutions, such as Spor-Klenz® and Isopropyl Acetate.

316 Stainless Steel Lab Equipment Applications:

316L Stainless steel is the popular option for lab equipment in:

  • Life sciences
  • Pharmaceutical industries
  • Hospitals, surgery rooms and surgical equipment
  • Dental equipment
  • Energy industries
  • Semiconductor manufacturing
  • Food services, processing and preparation
  • Brewing facilities
  • Marine engineering
  • Outdoor structures and enclosures

All of these industries expose equipment to harsh chemical cleaners or severely corrosive environments which 304 stainless steel cannot withstand. For example, pharmaceutical equipment utilizes 316L grade due to the industry’s mandated cleaning requirements. The simplest impurity can result in drug contamination causing an entire batch of finished product to be ruined. A reality that can lead to serious injury, if not death, when proper safety precautions aren’t followed-- the basis for United States Pharmacopeia (USP) 797 pharmaceutical mandates.

Terra Universal manufactures and stocks a wide range of 316L stainless steel laboratory equipment for every application. Let’s take a look at some of the products available for your unique needs

Stainless Steel Cleanroom

Terra’s stainless steel cleanroom solutions represent the highest standard in drug-compounding by way of fostering a contaminant-controlled, easy-to-maintain environment—an essential for the bio/pharmaceutical industry. In alignment with USP 797 cleanroom and USP 800 cleanroom standards, our systems deliver the highest assurance for any sensitive application. The same principles hold true for modern medical practices including surgical suites and operating rooms, which require an aseptic environment to successfully function.

Stainless Steel Cleanroom Door

Terra’s CleanSeam™ stainless steel cleanroom door offers the highest level of sanitary compliance. Constructed from 316L stainless steel, these units will withstand the harshest chemical cleaners and solutions. Optional automatic door operation allows for hassle-free access into your clean environment. Stainless steel doors offer continuous seam welds on both the door and frame to eliminate cracks and crevices, providing a long-lasting, easy to clean surface.

Stainless Steel Cleanroom Pass Through

Terra’s stainless steel pass through options offer an abundance of features such as automatic interlocks and design standards to minimize particle generation, accumulation and inhibit microbial growth. CleanMount™ cleanroom pass through chamber solutions feature 316 stainless steel construction and double-wall designed for a smooth, unobstructed interior—optimal for critical bio/pharmaceutical processing. BioSafe® autoclave safe clean room pass thru designs feature 316 stainless steel construction and autoclavable doors for an additional layer of protection. The stainless steel doors can be easily removed and safely sterilized in high pressure/heat conditions without risk of damage. The doors utilize a non-outgassing blue polyurethane seal, seated flush with the interior door surface, ideal for aseptic environments.

Stainless Steel Lab Table

Terra Universal’s stainless steel laboratory table selection demonstrates a new norm for all of your clean environment needs. Our 316 stainless steel lab tables are adaptable for any circumstance, with optimal continuous seam welds for maximum particle and germ protection. Stainless steel tables with back splashes and marine edges prevent potential spills while meeting sanitary protocols. Automatic height adjusting tables ensure comfortable and productive workflow for everyone. Vibration-free tables diminish operator fatigue and nausea during microscope operations.

Stainless Steel Glove Dispenser

BioSafe® stainless steel glove dispenser solutions are compatible with all cleanroom garb—gowns, shoe covers, facemasks and, of course, gloves. The 316 stainless steel design provides a smooth, easy to clean finish that exceeds biopharmaceutical cleanliness requirements.

Consider your application’s needs and ask yourself if the unsparing benefits of 316 or 316L grade stainless steel are something your operation requires. Either way, Terra offers a remarkable selection of stainless steel lab equipment. Contact us to help find the perfect solution for your needs!

Read More: Steps & Tips for Stainless Steel Cleaning