Tag Archives: 316L

Body Jewelry Metals – Stainless Steel

This article is from the Piercing FAQ, by Anne Greenblatt with numerous contributions by others.

2A.1 Stainless Steel

Of the many stainless steels available, only 316L and 316LVM are
appropriate for use as body jewelry. 316L is a low-carbon variety of
316. 316LVM is 316L that has been vacuum melted; the vacuum prevents any air or airborne contaminants to attach to the molecules in the metal, resulting in a more consistent steel. For most people, however, that the steel be 316LVM is not a necessity to heal and maintain a healthy piercing.

316L / 316LVM stainless steel is comprised of several metals including
nickel, to which some people are sensitive. However, the specific
composition of 316L / 316LVM allows for very little exposure to the
nickel molecules, thus reducing the risk of sensitivity.

The jewelry should be polished to a reflective shine (mirror finish),
free from rough edges, tool marks, and wire-drawing lines and pitting
which are present in the surface of the steel when it arrives from the
mill. When polished, true 316L is a white, not gray,
metal. Under-polishing will be most evident along the inside of the
ring where polishing is most difficult.

316L arrives from the steel manufacturer at specified degrees of
hardness. Most jewelry manufacturers use the least-hard (1/4 hard)
steel available for rings. Working the steel and forming the steel
into rings hardens it to some degree. Annealing, a controlled heating
and cooling process performed in a vacuum, yields a more flexible
steel, resistant to metal fatigue. Most piercers and jewelry
manufacturers agree that steel rings should be annealed to some degree
or made from annealed wire because an annealed ring is easier to
safely and quickly manipulate for insertion; pliers are often
unnecessary for manipulating thinner gauge rings. However, the softer
(more annealed) the ring, the easier it is scratched by tools or
simply by daily wear. The trade-off of using non-annealed rings is
that harder rings require tools to manipulate, increasing the chance
of scratching the jewelry during insertion. Very hard rings cannot be
torqued open at all; bending can cause the ring to break or create
fractures invisible to the unaided eye which can trap bacteria.

316L is classified as an austenitic steel. Austenitic steels are
generally non magnetic when annealed, although some may become
slightly magnetic by cold working (bending and shaping).

Piercing FAQ

Everything you wanted to know about Piercing
This FAQ about Piercing was compiled and written by Anne Greenblatt with numerous contributions by others.

Part I: Intro

  • 1.1 Summary – This posting contains information about body piercing.
  • 1.2 Copyright And Dissemination – Under the Berne Convention, this document is Copyright (c) 2000
  • 1.3 Table of Contents of the rec.arts.bodyart Piercing FAQ:

Part II: Jewelry

  • 2A.1 Metals – The metals used for body jewelry are chosen for
  • 2A.1 Gold – 1 karat = 1/24th of the alloy is pure
  • 2A.1 Niobium – Niobium is an elemental metal and is strong yet flexible
  • 2A.1 Platinum – Platinum and metals in the platinum group such as palladium
  • 2A.1 Stainless Steel – Of the many stainless steels available, only 316L and 316LVM
  • 2A.1 Silver / Sterling Silver – Sterling silver is 92.5% silver alloyed with copper or some
  • 2A.1 Titanium – Titanium is an extremely lightweight, elemental metal.
  • 2A.1a Report on Stainless Steel – by Sean
  • 2A.2 Non Metal Materials
  • 2A.2a Report on FDA Approved Acrylic – by Michael
  • 2A.3 Organic Materials – Thanks to Erica Skadsen / Organic for the information contained in
  • 2A.3a Hardwoods – Hardwoods are most often used to make plugs for enlarged piercings
  • 2A.3b Bamboo – Bamboo is not a wood but a grass. Several thousand different
  • 2A.3c Ivory, Horn, Antler – Thanks to Jesse Jarrell
  • 2B.1 Jewelry Sizes – Jewelry is measured by gauge (thickness) and width.
  • 2B.1a Gauges And Equivalents – Most jewelry manufactured in the US is gauged according to
  • 2B.2a Basic Jewelry Designs: Captive Bead Ring – The basic ring design is the captive bead ring or ball closure ring
  • 2B.2a Basic Jewelry Designs: Bead Ring Or Attached Bead Ring – The bead ring is similar to the captive bead ring except that the
  • 2B.2a Basic Jewelry Designs: Seamless Or Beadless Rings – The names beadless ring and seamless ring are misnomers because
  • 2B.2a Basic Jewelry Designs: Captive Tube Or Captive Bar Ring – Instead of a bead, a short, straight or curved tube or solid bar
  • 2B.2a Basic Jewelry Designs: Screw On Ball Ring – Screw on ball rings are an alternative to large gauge captive
  • 2B.2a Basic Jewelry Designs: Barbells – Straight and curved barbells are measured by the linear width
  • 2B.2a Basic Jewelry Designs: Gemstone Or Jewel Settings – Gemstones can be set in metal using either a prong setting or
  • 2B.2b Piercing-Specific Designs: Jewelry For Enlarged Piercings – The following designs are intended to maintain the enlarged size
  • 2B.2b Piercing-Specific Designs: Jewelry For Nipple Piercings – Nipple Retainer: Comprised of a straight bar worn through
  • 2B.2b Piercing-Specific Designs: Jewelry For Septum Piercings – Septum Retainer: A U-shaped piece of metal, either rounded
  • 2B.2b Piercing-Specific Designs: Prince’s Wand – The Prince’s Wand or Urethral Tube can be made to fit either
  • 2B.2b Piercing-Specific Designs: Eyebrow And Nostril “Bones”
  • 2C.1 Facial Piercings: Earlobe – 6 to 8
  • 2C.1 Facial Piercings: Large Earlobe Piercings – Please refer to Part 7 of the FAQ for information on
  • 2C.1 Facial Piercings: Dermal Punch Method for Large Earlobe Piercings – Dermal punches are designed to remove tissue for biopsy procedures.
  • 2C.1 Facial Piercings: Transverse Or Lateral Earlobe – 4 to 8
  • 2C.1 Facial Piercings: Vertical Earlobe – 4 to 8
  • 2C.1 Facial Piercings: Ear Cartilage – 3 to 6
  • 2C.1 Facial Piercings: Nostril – 3 to 6
  • 2C.1 Facial Piercings: Septum – 4 to 8
  • 2C.1 Facial Piercings: Eyebrow – 2 to 4
  • 2C.1 Facial Piercings: Bridge / Niebuhr / Erl / Nasion – 4 to 6
  • 2C.2 Oral Piercings – The risks of oral piercings include chipped and cracked teeth
  • 2C.2 Oral Piercings: Lip & Labret – 2 to 4
  • 2C.2 Oral Piercings: Madonna / Beauty Mark – Also called the Marilyn or Chrome Crawford because of the
  • 2C.2 Oral Piercings: Cheek – 3 to 5
  • 2C.2 Oral Piercings: Scrumper / Lip Frenulum – 1 to 2
  • 2C.2 Oral Piercings: Tongue – 4 to 8
  • 2C.2 Oral Piercings: Tongue Web / Frenulum – 2 – 4
  • 2D.1 Navel Piercings – 4 to 8
  • 2D.1a “The Navel Piercing: A Better Alternative” – by Karen Hurt of Future Primitives, San Francisco,
  • 2D.1b “Angled Navel Piercings” – by Elayne Angel of Rings of Desire, New Orleans
  • 2D.2 Nipple Piercings – 4 to 8
  • 2D.2a Female Nipple Piercings – Female nipple piercings should be made at the base of the nipple
  • 2D.2b Male Nipple Piercings – Because most men have very small or flat nipples, the piercing
  • 2D.2c Nipple Piercings And Breastfeeding – Most piercers maintain that nipple piercings are unlikely to
  • 2D.3 Surface And Unusual Piercings – Many piercers do not perform the following piercings because
  • 2E.1 Female Genital Piercings – All of the female genital piercings are highly anatomy-dependent
  • 2E.1 Clitoris Piercing – 4 to 6
  • 2E.1 Fourchette – 4 to 6
  • 2E.1 Horizontal Clitoral Hood Piercing – 4 to 6
  • 2E.1 Vertical Clitoral Hood Piercing – 4 to 6
  • 2E.1 Inner Labia – 4 to 6
  • 2E.1 Outer Labia – 4 to 6
  • 2E.1 Triangle Piercing – 4 to 6
  • 2E.1 Christina – 4 to 6
  • 2E.1 Isabella – This piercing was first documented in Issue #17 of Piercing
  • 2E.1 Princess Albertina – Another relatively new and experimental piercing documented in
  • 2E.2 Male Genital Piercings – The Prince Albert, Ampallang and Apadravya piercings usually bleed
  • 2E.2 Ampallang – 6 to 10 months; may require a year or more to completely
  • 2E.2 Apadravya – 6 to 10 months; may require a year or more to completely
  • 2E.2 Foreskin – 2 to 4
  • 2E.2 Frenum – 2 to 4
  • 2E.2 Guiche – 4 to 6
  • 2E.2 Prince Albert Or P.A. – 2 to 4
  • 2E.2 Scrotum / Hafada – 4 to 6
  • 2e.3 Genital Piercings And Sexual Activity – Genital piercings are intended to enhance sensation for the
  • 2E.4 Genital Piercings And Pregnancy – In the interest of safety for the mother and child, jewelry should

Part III: Getting A New Piercing

  • 3.1 What To Look For In A Piercer – Consider first visiting the studio without intending to get pierced
  • 3.2 Assessing Anatomy And Selecting Jewelry – Because everyone is built differently, not everyone is
  • 3.3 Ear Piercing Gun – The piercing gun or piercing implement was originally intended to
  • 3.3 Single-Use Disposable Needles – Piercing needles are hollow, lancet-point needles, beveled
  • 3.4 Basic Piercing Procedure: Prep – The area to be pierced should be cleansed using a surgical scrub
  • 3.4 Basic Piercing Procedure: Tools – Most piercers use forceps to hold the area to be pierced
  • 3.5 Methods Of Disinfection And Sterilization
  • 3.6 Anesthetics – In the United States topical anesthetics are only available
  • 3.7 Are You Under 18? – Many states now have laws restricting or prohibiting piercing minors
  • 3.8 Does It Hurt? – Most people experience some level of discomfort or pain during
  • 3.9 Making Your Experience More Comfortable – Get plenty of rest the night before. Eat a good meal and drink
  • 3.10 Piercing Kits And Doing It Yourself – Piercing kits have many disadvantages.

Part V: Care Of New Piercings

  • 5.1 Skin Cleansers, Wound Cleansers, And Soaps – Skin cleansers are designed to aid in the physical removal of
  • 5.2 Antiseptic Products – Antiseptics and disinfectants are chemicals designed to kill
  • 5.3 Other Products
  • 5.4 Products To Avoid – Antibiotic And Medicated
  • 5.5 Essential Oils – Many people have found essential oils beneficial to healing
  • 5.6 Aftercare For Facial Piercings – Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before
  • 5.7 Aftercare For Oral Piercings – Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before
  • 5.8 Aftercare For Body Piercings – Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before
  • 5.9 Aftercare For Genital Piercings – Genital piercings often bleed between 12 to 24 hours depending on
  • 5.10 Herbal Hot Compress Recipe – Provided by Michaela Grey, formerly of Gauntlet and the Association

Part VI: The Healing Process & Healing Problems

  • 6.1 The Healing Process – General Wound Healing
  • 6.2 Abandoning A Piercing – Whether or not the piercing completely closes depends on the age
  • 6.2a Reopening or Repiercing an Abandoned Piercing – An abandoned piercing that has only shrunk or partially grown
  • 6.2a Healing Problems: Dry Skin – Over-cleaning the piercing, failure to thoroughly rinse the
  • 6.2b Healing Problems: Prolonged Healing – Prolonged healing is indicated by failure of the piercing to
  • 6.2c Healing Problems: Follicular Cysts – Follicular cysts may affect both new and healed piercings.
  • 6.2d Healing Problems: Infections – The most frequent causes of infection is touching the piercing
  • 6.2e Healing Problems: Hypergranulation – During the proliferation phase of healing, granulation tissue
  • 6.3 Scars – Any penetration of the skin will result in a scar. Scar tissue
  • 6.4 Piercing Migration And Rejection – Occasionally a piercing migrates towards the surface of the skin
  • 6.5 Metal Sensitivities – The metals used for body jewelry are chosen for

Part VII: Healed Piercings

  • 7.1 Changing Jewelry – After a piercing is healed jewelry may be changed as desired.
  • 7.2 Stretching Piercings – Only well-healed piercings should be stretched. Stretching too soon
  • 7.3 Bondage Play – Strenuous bondage play using chains, restraints, and weights
  • 7.4 Hiding And Retaining Piercings
  • 7.4a Retaining Piercings During Surgery – Most hospitals’ policies require that patients remove all
  • 7.6 Piercings And Common Medical Procedures – Finding a piercing-knowledgeable doctor is more difficult than
  • 7.7 Body Jewelry And Metal Detectors – Security metal detectors are used to detect certain types of
  • 7.8 Piercings And Employment – Several readers of rec.arts.bodyart have been suspended or

Part VIII: Historical Information

  • 8.1a History of the Nipple Piercing
  • 8.1b Titrings, a Bit of History
  • 8.2 The Apadravya In The Kama Sutra – From the unexpurgated printing of the Kama Sutra printed in 1963
  • 8.3 History Of Late 20th Century Body Piercing – In the US, Doug Malloy, along with Jim Ward and Fakir and, in England,…
  • 9.1 Books And Magazines

Part IX: Resource List

  • 9A.2 Calendars And Posters
  • 9B.1 Videos
  • 9B.2 Online Sites
  • 9B.2a Chat Rooms And Online Clubs
  • 9B.3 Software & CDs
  • 9b.4 Places Of Interest – NEW YORK BODY ARCHIVE, #9 Ninth Ave., 2nd Floor, South of 13th St