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The molybdenum gives 316 better overall corrosion resistant properties than Grade 304, particularly higher resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion in chloride environments.
The austenitic structure also gives these grades excellent toughness, even down to cryogenic temperatures. Compared to chromium-nickel austenitic stainless steels, 316 stainless steel offers higher creep, stress to rupture and tensile strength at elevated temperatures.
SS316 is and excellent grade in a range of atmospheric environments and many corrosive media - generally more resistant than 304.
316 is usually regarded as the standard marine grade stainless steel.