Both 316 and 308 grades of stainless steel have their practical applications. There are only subtle differences between these two types of stainless steel.
316 stainless steel is often used in marine applications where the steel is constantly exposed to moisture. It is also used in food and beverage processing and chemical processing applications. 308 stainless steel is often used on restaurant and distillery equipment, chemical tanks and in the manufacturing of welding wire.
According to the website Angel Fire, 316 stainless steel contains roughly 17 percent chromium and an average of 12.5 percent nickel. 308 stainless steel typically contains about 20 percent chromium and an average of 11 percent nickel.
316 stainless steel contains molybdenum, which increases steel’s corrosion resistance. 308 stainless steel is the second-most widely used type of stainless steel and is often used to weld on 304 stainless steel, the most commonly produced type of steel.