In the present work, the strain induced martensite in 316L stainless steel was quantitatively characterized by X-ray diffraction, the measurement of the magnetic coercivity and the AE technique during the monotonic tensile deformation of plate specimens. Plate specimens subjected to different heat treatments (i.e. having different initial microstructures) were tensile-deformed and the AE counts obtained during tensile deformation were correlated with the microstructural development. The AE count was observed to increase with increasing amount of strain induced martensite phase, as determined by X-ray diffraction analysis. The potential of the AE technique and the measurement of the magnetic coercivity to be used for the evaluation of the tensile deformation was discussed in relation to the existence of strain-induced martensite.