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An Overview: Choosing the Right Grade of Stainless Steel for Your Project

As most stainless steel fabricators in Perth will tell you, the grade of stainless steel you choose can make or break your project. Without becoming overly technical, here is a quick guide to choosing the correct grade of stainless steel for your project.

Choosing the Right Grade of Stainless Steel

The Benefits of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is very resistant to corrosion due to the fact that it is made of at least 12% chromium. This reacts with oxygen to produce a thin oxide layer that makes it impossible for it to rust. It also makes it easy to clean and keep sanitary. This corrosion resistant film makes stainless steel indispensable to the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries.

Stainless steel is able to be easily formed and processed into many different shapes for many different applications. It can be processed into wire, seamless tubing, plates, bars, sheets and strips. Stainless steel is available in many different types and grades. Here are the three main types.

Austenitic

Austenitic stainless steel can be in the 300 series, which consists of steel with chromium and nickel, or the 200 series, which consists of steel with chromium and manganese. Austenitic stainless steels are the most popular and contain at least 16% chromium. They have a maximum of 0.15% carbon. The addition of nickel and manganese helps them keep their austenitic structure at any temperature up to their melting point.

Some common applications are electrical enclosures, cooking utensils and building construction.

Martensitic

Martensitic stainless steels contain between 12% and 14% chromium with nickel, molybdenum and carbon. They don’t provide the corrosion resistance that austenitic stainless steels do, but they are tough, machinable and can be made very hard by heat treatment. Due to this hardness, they are used for cutlery, food processing blades, valves, shafts and fasteners.

Duplex stainless steels combine austenitic stainless steel with ferritic stainless steel. They contain 19-28% chromium with molybdenum, nickel and small, variable amounts of other elements.

They are widely used in the petrochemical, chemical, marine, paper and pulp industries.

To learn more, call Western Stainless Solutions today: 1300 794 647.

Beyond Exteriors: Stainless Steel as Structural Components in the Building Industry

Stainless steel is becoming more popular as a construction material in Perth and across Australia. While many think that it is only appropriate as cladding, many structures are using stainless steel H-beams for many of the same reasons that it is used for so many manufacturing applications.

Stainless Steel as Structural Components

Why Stainless Steel is Used in Construction

There are several benefits inherent in stainless steel that make it perfect for construction. First of all, it is anti-corrosive. This gives stainless steel a longer lifecycle than any other building material. Stainless steel is usually made of around 60% recycled materials. The stainless steel itself is 100% recyclable.

Stainless steel is non-magnetic. It has high strength and high ductility. Its ability to withstand extreme heat and cold guarantee that it will never be exposed to temperatures on either end of the scale that can compromise its integrity once it is part of a building.

Stainless steel is also resistant to staining, easy to clean and retains its surface aesthetic longer than other construction materials. In the case where a visible structural component is made of stainless steel, this is a huge benefit.

How is Stainless Steel Different from Other Steel?

There are many different grades and types of stainless steel. Any corrosion-resistant steel alloy with more than 12% chromium is called “stainless steel.” That chromium reacts with oxygen and creates an oxide film on the surface of stainless steel. That film not only makes it easy to clean and maintain, but is responsible for its resistance to corrosion.

Austenitic Stainless Steel

Austenitic stainless steel is the material of choice for most construction applications. It contains at least 18% chromium. It provides superior corrosion resistance, superior strength and superior ductility. In spite of its strength, austenitic stainless steel can be easily worked and easily welded.

Call Western Stainless Solutions

To learn more about the use of stainless steel in construction or for an estimate, call Western Stainless Solutions today: 1300 794 647.

Stainless Steel and Extreme Heat

When we provide custom design stainless steel installation, it is usually because of the non-corrosive properties of stainless steel. However, in many industries, stainless steel is valued for its ability to perform and retain its integrity in extreme heat.

Stainless Steel and Extreme Heat

There are two qualities in particular that are crucial in some projects: high temperature oxidation resistance and high temperature strength. Stainless steel has a high chromium content which is important in both wet corrosion resistance and heat temperature strength. One of the more important results in these two qualities is that they team to provide resistance to scaling when exposed to extreme heat.

Scaling Resistance

Chromium is crucial to corrosion resistance, making it the major factor in scaling resistance. That is why an austenitic grade, which contains at least 18% chromium, is the material of choice. Almost all grades of austenitic stainless steel can be used in temperatures up to 870 degrees. For higher temperatures, 309, 310 or 2111HTR is recommended.

Ferritic and martensitic grades usually aren’t recommended except for ferritic grade 446, which resists corrosion in temperatures up to 1100 degrees.

Creep Strength

Creep strength is a measurement for a material’s strength at high temperatures. As with scaling resistance, it is the austenitic steels that shine in this department. The exception is that low-carbon versions of austenitic grades such as 304L and 316L lose their strength at high temperatures. High temperature versions with more carbon added, such as 304H and 316H, are formulated to provide more strength.

When working with Australian Standards that apply to certain situations such as AS4041 for pressure piping or AS1210 for pressure vessels, minimum working strength is usually specified.

Call Western Stainless Solutions Today

At Western Stainless Solutions, we are experts at providing the right stainless steel for the right project. Our engineers know all of the science behind stainless steel and we always know the correct grade to provide maximum performance for your equipment.

To learn more or for a consult, call us today: 1300 794 647.

How Stainless Steel Changed the Food and Beverage Industry

In this day and age, we tend to take stainless steel manufacturers for granted, in Perth and across Australia. However, stainless steel hasn’t always been around. Though it was created as early as 1911, stainless steel didn’t become popular in England and the US until 1929. Even then, the Great Depression would slow its rise.

The Safer Choice

Why was stainless steel such a revelation to the food and beverage industry? Couldn’t they just make their sinks and tables out of something else? Of course they could, but stainless steel made it easier to maintain a restaurant without making people sick.

How Stainless Steel Changed the Food and Beverage Industry

Most drinks, such as sodas, beer and dairy, can be corrosive to all metals. Not only would metal containers contaminate products with the residue of corrosion, they also became safe havens for bacteria. Food and dairy processing was much more dangerous to consumers before stainless steel became a viable option.

Only stainless steel can be used to process or transport liquids in a way that guarantees sanitation and quality. Most metals contaminate liquids if stored there for long. Before stainless steel, beverages were transported in bottles, which were fragile.

Stainless steel allowed restaurants to become much more sanitary. They also allowed food processing and storage to become much more efficient. Simply stated: large scale processing cannot be done without stainless steel.

Fast Forward

Currently, stainless steel is used in most food and beverage processing. Products such as beer, wine, dairy, soft drinks, meat, fish, vegetables and baked goods are all processed using stainless steel equipment.

For the food processing industry, they know stainless steel is efficient and safe. It is easy to maintain and keep sanitary to prevent foods and beverages from becoming contaminated from metals or from bacteria and fungi.

Call Western Stainless Solutions Today

Whether you own a pub, a restaurant or a food processing facility, we can make the equipment you need to run a tight ship. To learn more, call us today: 1300 794 647.

Bio-Pharmaceutical Uses for Stainless Steel

Stainless steel suppliers in Perth do a lot of work for the medical industry, but we also do a lot for the pharmaceutical industry. Because stainless steel is corrosion resistant, it is one of the most sanitary metals you can work with. When it comes to industries where sanitation is mandatory, stainless steel is the standard by which all other materials are judged.

Bio-Pharmaceutical Uses for Stainless Steel

Product Vessels

For bio-pharmaceutical equipment, the stainless steel most often used has traditionally been 316L. However, the last 15 years have seen changes in regulations on a global scale and demand for even more resistance to corrosion. Consequently, stainless steel grades with at least 6% molybdenum and grades that combine molybdenum, chromium and nickel, known as “super-austenitic,” are becoming more popular.

Super-austenitic stainless steel is used in the bio-manufacturing community because it can be trusted not to contaminate the drugs that are being made. Corrosion can affect the purity, safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products; it is important that materials used in their manufacture is non-corrosive.

Many “batches” of pharmaceutical products can have a worth of more than $1 million. Therefore, it is essential that the alloy in the product vessel provides absolute protection from corrosion.

Hypodermic Needles

Stainless steel is also used in the production of hypodermic needles because they are easily sterilised. In addition, stainless steel is very workable and more easily formed into needles. Also, they can be tempered with a high tensile strength. 304 or 316 stainless steel is appropriate for needles.

Orthopaedic Implants

Many orthopaedic implants are also made with stainless steel. Austenitic grades of stainless steel are used in artificial hips and knees and in the screws that are often used for implants and for bone repair.

Call Western Stainless Solutions Today

We hope this guide has been helpful. While we don’t create all of these products here at Western Stainless, we do have a wide ranges of stainless steel solutions for the bio-pharmaceutical industry.

To learn more, call 1300 794 647 today.

Stainless Steel and Wastewater Treatment Applications

Some of our larger stainless steel installation projects in the Perth area have been for wastewater applications. Not only is it important for communities to have an ample supply of clean drinking water, it is equally important that the wastewater that is created doesn’t contaminate the environment.

Most wastewater treatment plants use 304L or 316L grade stainless steel for standard wastewater applications. For more robust circumstances, duplex or super austenitic alloys are more appropriate.

Stainless Steel for Wastewater Treatment Applications

Why Stainless Steel is the Material of Choice in Wastewater Treatment

  • Provides corrosion resistance to many different types of wastewater
  • Tolerates very high flow rates
  • Has excellent ductility and strength
  • Easily fabricated
  • Easily transported due to light weight
  • Can be used to create an extensive range of products
  • Leaching levels into water are almost non-existent
  • Durable
  • Fully recyclable

Performance and Design Advantages

Stainless steel is nearly 100% non-corrosive, making it able to handle most waters. Because it is so resistant to both corrosion and erosion, it is perfect for high water flow rates. It can easily handle high velocities, pumping turbulence, high aeration and changes of cross-section. No corrosion allowance is necessary and stainless steel systems can be built with thin walls. It is not necessary to control water chemistry to avoid corrosion.

Environmental Factors

When storing, treating or transporting drinking water, the materials used cannot leach into the water past an “acceptable” level. Stainless steel has been tested in many countries and found to surpass all regulations for the prevention of contamination.

In addition, stainless steel is 100% recyclable and our products are often made of a high percentage of recycled stainless steel.

Call Western Stainless Today

We are experts at custom design stainless steel installation. We have worked with many wastewater treatment facilities. We can work with you to design, fabricate, transport and install any equipment you need for your wastewater facility.

To learn more about us or for an obligation free consult, call Western Stainless Solutions today: 1300 794 647.

Why Stainless Steel is the Material of Choice for Sinks

One of our more common stainless steel installation products for Perth area businesses is the stainless steel sink. We have made countless stainless steel sinks for the restaurant, medical, manufacturing and mining industries. No matter what the industry, stainless steel is the material of choice for sinks for a number of reasons.

Light and Cost-Effective

Stainless steel is a material that is light compared to other sink materials. It is a cost-effective material for fabricating custom stainless steel sinks.

Stainless Steel is the Material of Choice for Sinks

High Quality

Stainless steel is a high quality material for sinks and it is now even better. Design has evolved to a point where stainless steel sinks are thicker and less noisy than their predecessors.

Durable

Stainless steel is one of the most durable materials for fabricating sinks. It doesn’t crack, chip, stain or fade. It has a much longer “shelf life” or “product cycle” than other materials and doesn’t degrade like other materials do.

Bigger Capacity

Because of stainless steel’s unique combination of lightness, strength and durability, it is possible to make much larger sinks with stainless steel than with other materials, especially heavy materials like cast-iron or porcelain.

Low Maintenance

Stainless steel is the easiest material to clean when it comes to sinks. Usually, soap and water is enough to keep a stainless steel sink clean and performing as great as it did on the first day it was used.

Easiest to Keep Sanitary

Because stainless steel maintains such consistent surface, it is the easiest material to keep sanitary. Stainless steel is the standard material for many applications in the medical and hospitality fields where perfect sanitation is mandatory.

Non-Corrosive

Stainless steel has a “self-repairing” quality that makes it “immune” to corroding. The chromium layer on the outside reacts to oxygen to “coat” the surface and protect it from rusting or chemicals.

Call Western Stainless Solutions Today

To learn more about stainless steel in the hospitality, manufacturing, medical or mining industries, call us today: 1300 794 647.

How to Maintain Your Restaurant’s Stainless Steel Equipment for a Lifetime

We perform a lot of custom design stainless steel installation projects for restaurants in the Perth area. Stainless steel is noted for its anti-corrosive properties. This makes stainless steel the easiest to keep clean. That is why stainless steel is mandated for so many applications requiring high sanitation standards.

The Science of Stainless Steel

To understand how to maintain stainless steel, it is helpful to know what makes it stainless steel in the first place. There are various types of stainless steel; essentially, stainless steel is a steel alloy containing at least 12% chromium. The chromium interacts with the oxygen in the air to create a thin layer or film of oxide on the surface.

Maintain Restaurant Stainless Steel Equipment

The result is a material that is easily workable, durable, easy to clean and cost effective. As long as the surface is cleaned daily and in the right way, it will never rust or corrode. It is resistant to bacteria because the surface is not porous and doesn’t corrode, leaving bacteria and fungi no place to colonise. This is what makes stainless steel such a great surface for food contact.

But there is a downside. If the surface is not kept clean and free of scratches, it loses its anti-corrosive properties and can become just like any other surface. Anything that keeps the surface chromium from interacting with air can cause it to lose its protective layer.

In other words, stainless steel needs to be cleaned often. Unlike many materials, regular cleaning doesn’t degrade stainless steel in any way. There is no such thing as cleaning stainless steel “too often” because the chromium layer isn’t compromised by cleaning—as long as it’s done correctly. Here’s how to keep your stainless steel clean.

How to Clean Your Stainless Steel Equipment

The best way to clean stainless steel is with a wet cloth and a mild detergent. You can often clean it with nothing but water, but soap is often necessary. Just remember to keep the detergent or soap mild.

You will notice that many stainless steel products have a direction or grain to their finish. If they do, always wipe with the grain. If you wipe against the grain, especially with a pad, you can damage the finish. Never use any abrasive pad or cleaners on stainless steel.

If a cleanser isn’t enough, you can make a paste out of baking soda and water. This paste is non-abrasive but provides a bit more “leverage” for cleaning the surface. You can also use a cream cleanser, but make sure that it is not abrasive.

Always remember that time is of the essence if you have a spill. The faster you clean spills, the less chance there is of your surface being damaged or stained. If the food is acidic, it can damage the chromium layer, turning your stainless steel into an ordinary material. Another reason to address spills immediately is that you don’t want to give them time to dry onto the surface. The sooner you clean a spill, the easier it is to clean.

Believe it or not, fingerprints can be dangerous to stainless steel. The oil from fingerprints can cause tarnishing or etching to occur. This is especially true with finishes polished to a mirror finish. At the end of every day, a glass cleaner should be used to remove all fingerprints from any stainless steel surface.

After cleaning, be sure to dry the surface immediately. If your water is too hard, it can damage the surface. All you have to do is dry the surface and it’s “no worries.”

How Not to Clean Stainless Steel Equipment

Do not ever use chlorine in any form, including bleach, on stainless steel. It breaks down the chromium layer, removing all of the benefits of a stainless steel surface. Use ammonia instead.

Also, as we mentioned earlier, never use an abrasive pad such as steel wool or Brillo. You can use a pad or brush made of a soft material like nylon or soft plastic if you really need the extra scrubbing power.

Don’t use a stainless steel cleaner or polish unless the surface is already damaged. Then it acts as a protective coating.

Call 1300 794 647 to learn more.

Western Stainless Supports Anzac Day Breakfast At Goollelal Primary School

Western Stainless had the pleasure of donating 500 sausages to Goollelal Primary School in Kinsley.

After the school could not secure donations from surrounding suppliers, we were only too happy to help out a great cause.

Anzac Day Breakfast At Goollelal Primary School

The dawn service was held on the 24th April 2015 so that the school and local community could be involved in the 100th year ANZAC celebration.

Western Stainless was also able to help with the cooking of the said 500 sausages. They arrived at the school at 5:00am with the workshop BBQ in tow and smashed out the cooking of the 500 sausages just in time to feed a throng of hungry people chasing their shotgun breakfast after a great dawn service.

Get the Most Out of Your Stainless Steel

As one of the most prolific stainless steel manufacturers in Perth, we like to see our clients get the most out of their stainless steel products. We have built a great reputation for quality and service in Perth and regional WA and we want to see it stay that way. One of the best ways to do that is to ensure that our clients get the most out of any custom design stainless steel installation.

Besides the obvious need to select the correct grade, here are some ways to get the most out of any stainless steel product.

Get the Most Out of Your Stainless Steel

Make Sure the Finish Matches the Desired Corrosion Resistance

The rule of thumb is that the more brightly polished the surface, the higher the resistance to corrosion. For example, 240 grit alumina abrasives are not enough to finish stainless steel in a coastal environment. Make sure your finish matches up to your location and usage.

Post Fabrication Treatments

When stainless steel is welded, it results in heat tint. These areas are more susceptible to corrosion. Make sure they have been treated to restore their full non-corrosive properties.

Segregate Carbon and Stainless Steel

If carbon steel and stainless steel are fabricated in the same workshop, dust from the carbon steel can contaminate the stainless steel. The carbon steel will rust, making it appear as though the stainless steel has rusted. If your stainless steel products are fabricated in a facility that also fabricates carbon steel, make sure they have taken appropriate measures.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Be sure to keep your stainless steel clean. Usually water is enough, but a mild soap can also be used.

Call Western Stainless Solutions Today

At Western Stainless Solutions, we fabricate stainless steel. We are experts at ensuring that every product comes out of our facility at the appropriate specifications for its usage. It’s always easier to make sure the product is fabricated correctly than it is to repair errors later. Call us today: 1300 794 647.