Melt Practice

This austenitic stainless steel is initially electric-arc melted. Then as a refinement to the purity and homogeneity of the metal, 316LVM is Vacuum Arc Remelted (VAR). This process yields a more uniform chemistry with minimal voids and contaminants. 316LVM is a unique nomenclature for Fort Wayne Metals. This alloy meets the requirements of 316LS.

Thermal Treatment

A reducing atmosphere is preferred for thermal treatment, but inert gas can be used. 316LVM will fully anneal at 1010-1121°C in just a few minutes. The precipitation of carbides that decreases corrosion resistance in other 300 series alloys is controlled by a reduced carbon content in 316LVM.


316LVM material has been used for permanent implants for many years. The corrosion resistance in the annealed condition is good. Many studies for new alloys use 316LVM as a reference. This stainless steel has good ductility in the cold worked condition. Applications include: suture wire, orthopaedic cables, skin closure staples, catheters, stylets, bone pins and many small machined parts.

Surface Condition

Stainless steels develop a highly polished appearance as they are drawn to fine diameters. Surface roughness can be less than 5 RMS when processed using SCND* dies and measured with a profilometer. Diameters over 0.040″ are finished with polycrystalline dies and exhibit a rougher surface than natural diamond dies. Diameters over 0.100″ will have an even rougher surface because they are drawn with carbide dies. Additional finish treatments can enhance the surface of the wire.

*SCND means single crystal natural diamond.