Steel is a metal alloy consisting mainly of iron but also of carbon. The carbon added between 0.02% and 2% transforms iron into steel and makes it even stronger but also gives it a certain "flexibility", which is why Steel is widely used for construction. At this point steel (and 316L steel) is not a Stainless Alloy. Beyond 3% carbon, iron becomes cast iron but this large amount of carbon makes this metal very hard but also brittle.
Steel brut is a oxidizable alloy. It will naturally bind with oxygen molecules present in air or water through oxidation-reduction reactions. This reaction is more commonly called «corrosion». These reactions result in the appearance of iron oxide and hydroxide, also namedblight, this famous red-orange substance found on some iron structures. Rust is a destructive agent that gradually consumes steel, until its complete decomposition.
Strauss and Maurer, two German chemists filed a patent in 1912 to exploit theE first stainless steel, a clever mix between steel, chromium (whose discovery dating back to 1797 is attributed to the French Nicolas Louis Vauquelin) and nickel (discovered in 1751 by Axel Frederik Cronstedt), which makes the steel very resistant to corrosion and prevents it from rusting. The chromium content of thestainless steel is at least 10.5%, its carbon content should be less than 1.2% and its Nickel content about 8%.
There are 3 categories of stainless steel : ferritics, martensitics and austenitic stainless steels.
316L steel is a type ofaustenitic stainless steel whose carbon content does not exceed 0.02%, the amount of chromium is around 17% and the Nickel content reaches 10-12.5%. To this alloy is added 2-2.5% molybdenum.
The L of the abbreviation 316L means that it is a low carbon steel » (low carbon). Indeed as mentioned earlier this steel contains only 0.02% carbon against 0.05% for thesteel 316 « classic ». When welding at very high temperatures, a substance called "Chromium Carbide precipitation" is created and therefore steel although stainless becomes more prone to corrosion. The fact of having a minimum of carbon in the structure of this alloy prevents the creation of this precipitation and therefore the316L steel is not subject to corrosion.
Molybdenum, discovered in 1778 by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, is added to thestainless steel to form the316L steel.On the one hand molybdenum hardens the alloy but above all makes it a lot more resistant corrosion even in extreme environments (chlorinated, salty, and acidic environments). That is why thesteel 316 L is also used for outdoor uses like bodyguards or handrails.
For all of our men's watches and ourwomen's watches, we made the choice to work with316L steel. You will have understood this alloy is known for its durability and also its great resistance to corrosion, 2 elements that we consider essential for our cases, especially those of our automatic watches. From an aesthetic point of view316L steel is a stainless steel whose radiance endures over time and does not tarnish.
Finally the316L steelrecycles very easily and in its entirety. So stainless steel watches can have a new life. Stainless steel can be recycled endlessly without losing its quality. Commitment from an ecological point of view, which is one of the strong values Charlie Paris, it is of course that we have turned to this type of steel for our Made in France watches. Our watch bracelets steel are also designed from 316L steel.