C ≤ 0.03, Si ≤ 1.00, Mn ≤ 2.00, P ≤ 0.045, S ≤ 0.03, Ni :10.00-14.00, Cr :16.00-18.00, Mo :2.00-3.00
C ≤ 0.08, Si ≤ 1.00, Mn ≤ 2.00, P ≤ 0.045, S ≤ 0.03, Ni :10.00-14.00, Cr :16.00-18.00, Mo :2.00-3.00
2. Yield Strength (YS)
316L: 180 (N/mm²)
316: 210 (N/mm²)
3. Tensile Strength
316L: 480 (N/mm²)
316: 520 (N/mm²)
As can be seen from the chemical composition, 316 has 0.08 Max carbon content while 316L has a 0.03 Max carbon content. That is, 316L has lower carbon allowed. It will be less susceptible to sensitization, a condition caused when carbon combines with chromium around the grain boundaries, thereby depleting the grain boundary areas of chromium. That would make the grain boundary areas less corrosion resistant. Sensitization occurs with heating into the 800 °F to 1300 °F region, so it's a welding or annealing problem.
In short, if the item you are fabricating will be welded then use an L grade material. If it is not then it would not matter.
Besides, the 316L will also be softer than the 316, again due to the lower carbon.
Zhongshan Q.R. Precision Steel Ball Co., Ltd. specializes in producing 316L stainless steel balls, the materials SUS316L are imported from Nippon Steel Corp., has more than 0.12 nickel content. AISI type 316L stainless steel balls also has a lower carbon content than 316 stainless steel balls, which gives them even higher corrosion resistance than the excellent resistance of AISI type 316. Both types of stainless steel balls offer excellent resistance to sulphuric acid compounds. Applications for type 316L balls include Jewelry, medical and welding usage.