The “L” in the designations for these grades refers to “low carbon.” This low carbon makes it easier to produce corrosion-resistant welds than in standard 304 and 316, respectively, but their higher cost (2% to 10%) and lower strength (by 5 ksi) limit their use. Most fabricators of stainless steel wire products can work well enough with 304 and 316. The maximum Carbon content is 0.03% in an L grade, while the standard 304 and 316 grades can contain up to 0.08% carbon.

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