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Stainless Steel Used for Building Exteriors

As a well-established stainless steel supplier in the Perth area, we have created a lot of different stainless steel solutions for a lot of different industries. For example, it is well-known that the medical, hospitality and mining industries use a lot of stainless steel.

Stainless Steel Used for Building Exteriors

Some may even know that retail shops and mechanical facilities use a lot of stainless steel, but here’s one you may not know about: stainless steel is also used on many building exteriors.

Why Stainless Steel is Used for Building Exteriors

Stainless steel has some properties that make it perfect as an exterior building material. It is non-corrosive and resistant to rust. When the surface is compromised, the chromium contained in stainless steel reacts with oxygen present in the air to maintain surface integrity, qualifying stainless steel to be called “self-repairing.”

Stainless steel is also easy to keep clean. It is so smooth that organic material doesn’t tend to stick to it. It is non-porous, leaving no spaces for fungi, bacteria and viruses to colonise. If dirt collects on exterior stainless steel, it is washed away by rain. If it needs to be cleaned, water with soap or vinegar can be used to clean it thoroughly and restores its original appearance.

The Aesthetics of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is smooth, shiny and reflective. It can be polished until it is shiny like a mirror or it can be “dulled” a bit to tone down its shine. Whatever the case, it blends in perfectly with its surroundings. It can reflect a red sky or a golden one. It can reflect trees or other buildings. Stainless steel is almost chameleon-like; it can blend in with most surroundings because it takes on the colours of its surroundings.

Strong and Durable

Stainless steel is so strong and durable that it can even be used as a structural element in some buildings.

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If you have a building that may look good with a stainless steel exterior, call Western Stainless Solutions today: 1300 794 647.

Stainless Steel and the Environment

We are proud that all of the stainless steel products we provide to the Perth area are much better for the environment than products made of most other materials. Here are a few of the ways stainless steel enriches the environment.

Stainless Steel Helps The Environment

Long Life and 100% Recyclable

Stainless steel products have a long shelf life: as long as three times that of most other materials. This alone is the reason stainless steel is the material of choice for so many applications. Stainless steel products can provide decades of services, as many WA business owners can attest.

However, all products eventually reach the end of their usage cycle. Usually, this is because a product “goes out of fashion” or becomes technologically redundant. In other words, stainless steel usually lasts longer than the need for any particular product.

When it does become obsolete, stainless steel is 100% recyclable. It contains steel, chromium, with some grades containing molybdenum and nickel. All of these materials are still in high demand.

Made of 60% Recycled Materials

On the average, stainless steel is made of 60% recycled materials. It breaks down to this:
40% new raw materials.
35% new scrap recycled from production.
25% old scrap, meaning recycled stainless steel products.

Environmental Uses for Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is also the most efficient material for many products that improve the environment.

Catalytic converters made of stainless steel are lighter and more efficient than ceramic converters. Diesel filters, made of stainless steel, can filter out 85% of soot particles and 95% of black smoke from diesel engines. They also have high temperature resistance, making them a more reliable option.

Stainless steel condensing boilers have a 100% efficiency rating, reducing the use of fossil fuels. Stainless steel can also be used in rooftop solar panels, providing renewable energy. Stainless steel is also used as recycling collectors by many cities because they are corrosion resistant.

Call Western Stainless Today

To learn more or to enquire about a custom design stainless steel installation, call us today: 1300 794 647.

Stainless Steel in the Biofuel Industry

Stainless steel suppliers in Perth enable a lot of industries to perform essential tasks. One of those industries is the biofuel industry. Stainless steel is the material of choice in the biofuel industry for many of the same reasons it is so popular in the hospitality and medical industries. Stainless steel is strong, durable, easily fabricated, non-corrosive and its smooth surface is crucial for maximum sanitation.

The biogas, biodiesel and bioethanol industries all use stainless steel at many crucial points in their operations and it all centres around ethanol. Here’s why.

Stainless Steel in the Biofuel Industry

The ethanol industry is in a constant state of evolution with constant research and development. Procedures and processes for converting wheat, corn and other feedstocks into ethanol are constantly being improved to maximise yields while minimising production costs.

However, using feedstocks will not be sustainable once the popularity of biofuel surpasses “critical mass.” Consequently, researchers are working hard on extracting ethanol from cellulose using ecologically friendly feedstocks that are environmentally friendly.

Ethanol from Corn

Corn has emerged as a strong candidate. However, the processes used to produce ethanol using corn are mildly corrosive. Austenitic stainless steel is emerging as the primary solution in making production of ethanol from corn more cost-effective and reliable.

Currently, 90% of the stainless steel that is used in processing corn into ethanol is Type 304 or Type 304L, which contains less carbon. Type 304 is used in typical wet milling process, while type 304L is more appropriate when dry milling is used. During the pretreatment phase, which the most corrosive and requires the highest temperatures, C-type nickel alloys must be used. The most popular is Alloy C276.

Biogas

Biogas is processed by extracting methane and CO2 using the fermentation process on materials like biomass, sewage, manure, municipal waste, energy crops or green waste. The process is moderately corrosive, but ammonia and hydrogen sulfide are formed in the digester, increasing the corrosivity of the process.

For more information on how we can provide your stainless steel solution, call Western Stainless Solutions today: 1300 794 647.

Stainless Steel for Shop Fitting

While most of our stainless steel installation projects in the Perth area are in the medical, hospitality and mining fields, we also do a fair amount of custom design stainless steel installation for the retail industry. We work directly with shop fitters to help them provide the perfect solutions for their clients.

Why the Retail Industry Uses Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a great fit in the retail industry for many of the same reasons it has become a staple of the medical and hospitality industries. It is versatile: suitable for use as the little “arms” on pegboard shelving but also appropriate for structural applications such as the storage areas in the back room of a “big box” retail outlet.

Stainless Steel For The Retail Industry

Stainless steel is strong enough to hold a lot of weight, but light enough that it can be easily moved if necessary. It is easy to fabricate and easy to clean. It is non-porous, meaning it doesn’t provide bacteria, viruses or fungi a place to easily “take hold.” It is non-corrosive and doesn’t rust, meaning it can stand up to chemicals and water on a regular basis.

Stainless steel also looks really great in display applications. It is the perfect material to represent a retail business. It has its own aesthetic and stays clean and shiny with minimal maintenance.

Some Uses for Stainless Steel in Retail

As we mentioned, stainless steel makes great storage shelves. It also can be used as the structural element holding the shelves up. It is often fabricated into large tables which are used as workspaces in the back storage area.

Stainless steel also makes great tables for the coffee and beverage areas of a store. They can be used as display tables for other specific products. Stainless steel can also be used for display shelving.

Call Western Stainless Solutions Today

If you are curious to know how a custom stainless steel manufacturer can create bespoke solutions for your retail needs, call us today: 1300 794 647.

Stainless Steel Used for Many Mining Applications

The mining industry has plenty of use for our custom design stainless steel installation services. As one of the larger stainless steel fabricators in Perth, we have the resources to undertake and complete large projects far away from our home base when necessary.

Stainless Steel Used for Many Mining Applications

Why the Mining Industry Needs Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has a lot of characteristics that make it perfect for the mining industry. It is easily fabricated. It is inexpensive and light compared with other metals of similar strength. It is corrosion-resistant, meaning it doesn’t rust. It is also very durable and easy to clean. It is also the most sustainable of alloys or fabricated metals. This makes it perfect for an industry such as mining.

Some Typical Uses for Stainless Steel by the Mining Industry

Stainless steel is versatile and can be used for a lot of different applications. It is used for mining screens, fluidised bed boilers, pumps, heat exchangers, vessels, pipes, tanks, structural components and cathode plates. Stainless steel also makes great workbenches.

Stainless steel is known for being easy to clean because of its smooth, hard surface. That also makes it perfect for any application where any substances need to be stored without the possibility of contamination.

For those who are staying in a mining camp, the kitchen in the “mess hall” will usually have a lot of stainless steel equipment, such as utensils, tables, benches, pots, pans, sinks, steam tables and the ventilation hood over frying or grilling equipment.

Call Western Stainless Solutions Today

We are one of the foremost stainless steel manufacturers in Perth. If you already know what you need, we can start making it for you right away. If you don’t, one of our experts will be happy to make an on site visit and make recommendations. We will give you an estimate of both the cost and the amount of time it will take us to complete your project. We have a well-established track record of finishing projects on time and on budget.

Call 1300 794 647 to learn more.

Stainless Steel a Perfect Fit for Health Industry

A majority of our work as a custom stainless steel manufacturer is done for the health industry. We have done projects as small as a single doctor’s office to projects as large as an entire hospital. But why has stainless steel become the material of choice for so many health industry applications?

Stainless Steel a Perfect Fit for Health Industry

The health industry has the most stringent sanitation standards of any industry. A lapse in sanitation procedures can actually cause people to die. They need a material that is durable and versatile, but can be kept copacetic. They also need a material that is somewhat cost effective. Stainless steel has all of those characteristics.

Stainless Steel and Sanitation

Stainless steel is a smooth, non-porous surface. When stainless steel is breached, the chromium in stainless steel reacts with oxygen to repair the surface and keep it from corrosion. Because it is so smooth and non-porous, it can be thoroughly cleaned with no place for residue, bacteria, fungi or viruses to collect.

Stainless steel is also sturdy enough for structural use. In fact, a stainless steel bench that can withstand and support weight up to a tonne weighs much less than table of equivalent strength made of any other material. It is strong, durable, sanitary and doesn’t rust. A custom design stainless steel installation is easier to fabricate, quicker to fabricate and more economical than a custom design of any other material.

Stainless steel doesn’t rust, doesn’t stain, doesn’t corrode and doesn’t wear out. It can be cleaned as often as you need to with no degradation of surface. It can be fabricated into pretty much anything and the cost of maintenance and repair are low.

Medical Uses for Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is used for medical instruments, sanitary storage of medical materials and waste, medical examination tables, syringes and even heart valves. Medical sinks, trays, knives and bowls are made of stainless steel. Prostheses are also made of stainless steel.

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

Why Stainless Steel is so Popular in the Hospitality Industry

As one of the most prolific stainless steel suppliers in Perth, we have installed stainless steel equipment in a lot of restaurants, pubs, commercial kitchens and industrial kitchens. In the hospitality industry, stainless steel is the material of choice for many applications due to its cleanability, durability and appearance.

Restaurants are subject to extremely high sanitation standards. One mistake in sanitation can lead to many people becoming sick. Consequently, kitchen owners want a material that is easy to keep sanitary. Stainless steel is the best material for kitchen applications because it is non-porous.

Stainless Steel is so Popular in the Hospitality Industry

Properties of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is non-corrosive due to its chromium content. Thanks to a property that is called “passivity,” the surface of stainless steel is self-repairing. The addition of other materials such as nickel and molybdenum further enhances the non-corrosive nature of stainless steel.

Stainless steel is also a very smooth, non-porous surface. That makes it easy to clean because organic materials can’t gain a “foothold” on the surface. The fact that stainless steel is non-porous allows it to be more thoroughly cleaned than porous materials.

Stainless steel is more durable and can bear a heavier load than many metals. Because of this, a stainless steel countertop or bench weighs less than other materials of similar strength. Stainless steel is easily fabricated into bespoke solutions and the cost of maintenance, repair or replacement is lower than that of most other materials.

Some Uses for Stainless Steel in the Hospitality Industry

One can almost outfit an entire kitchen in stainless steel. Pots, pans, tables, benches, sinks, food holding equipment, refrigerators, walk-in coolers and utensils can all be made of stainless steel. For large food processing facilities, hoppers and pipes for transport can also be made of stainless steel.

Call Western Stainless Solutions Today

From small restaurants to giant food processing facilities, Western Stainless Solutions has the experience, expertise and resources to provide a custom solution that will provide you with years of service. Call 1300 794 647 to learn more.

How Stainless Steel Products are Made

Did you ever wonder how stainless steel manufacturers turn stainless steel into the products that are so ubiquitous in Perth?

What is Stainless Steel?

Stainless steel is an alloy of steel and other metals. It contains at least 12% chromium, which provides its resistance to rust or staining. Nickel is added for most applications in the food and beverage industry. Stainless is used in the food and beverage industry because it is easy to clean and keep sanitary. It is also very durable and protects the flavour of food and beverages.

How Stainless Steel Products are Made

Austenitic stainless steel contains 6% or more of nickel and austenite, producing a face-centred cubic structure which promotes ductility and corrosion resistance. Ferrite stainless steel contains ferrite, which has a body-centred cubic structure. It is more resistant to stress corrosion but tougher to weld.

Duplex stainless steels are a combination of ferritic and austenitic. They provide superior resistance to cracking, crevice corrosion and pitting and provide twice the strength of most austenitic steels.

Raw Materials

Stainless steel is made of iron ore and chromium. Other materials that may or may not be added in various amounts: nickel, manganese, molybdenum, nitrogen and carbon. Each element contributes to a certain property. The final mixture is determined by the desired properties.

Making Stainless Steel

The raw materials are put into an electric furnace where they are melted by intense heat over a period of between eight and twelve hours. They are then cast into semi-finished shapes such as rectangular shapes called “blooms,” round or square shapes called “billets,” rods, slabs and tube rounds.

Forming

Next, the steel is heated and then passed through rolls in a procedure called “hot rolling.” Billets and blooms are formed into wire and bar, while slabs become strips, plates or sheets.

Heat Treatment

The next step is called “annealing,” where the steel undergoes heating and cooling under controlled conditions. This softens the metal and relieves internal stresses. Some of the metals are then subjected to age hardening, in which they are heat treated to become even stronger. This process has to be exact to obtain the desired result.

Lower temperatures in heat treatment cause more strength with less resistance to fractures. Higher temperatures produce a material that is tougher but not as strong. The temperature has to be within certain tolerances to produce stainless steel that is both strong and durable.

De-Scaling

The annealing process causes “scaling” to form on the steel. The scaling needs to be removed; the most common methods are pickling and electrocleaning. Pickling uses a bath of nitric-hydrofluoric acid. Electrocleaning uses a cathode in tandem with phosphoric acid.

Cutting

Cutting is the method by which the desired blank shape is obtained. It is also the method used for trimming a part to final size. Stainless steel can be cut mechanically by techniques such as straight shearing with guillotine knives. Another technique: circle shearing with circular knives. High-speed sawing can be done with steel blades.

Metal punches and dies can be used in a process called “blanking.” A variation of blanking called “nibbling” can be used for irregular shapes. Stainless steel can also be flame-cut using a flame-fired torch emitting oxygen and propane. Plasma jet cutting employs an electric arc in tandem with an ionised gas column.

Finishing

Finishing is important. If a dull finish is required, nothing further is needed after the descaling process. Polishing with grinding wheels or abrasive belts can produce the smooth finish that is required for sanitation applications. Cold rolling in tandem with annealing can also produce a smooth finish.

Fabrication

Stainless steel can be fabricated by a number of methods. To further shape stainless steel, methods such as press forming, roll forming, press drawing, forging and extrusion are used. Stainless steel can often undergo more annealing, cleaning and machining.

Resistance welding and fusion welding are the most common methods of joining stainless steel. In fusion welding, an electric arc is formed between an electrode and the metal that is being welded. Resistance welding employs both pressure and heat.

Call Us Today

We hope this guide was helpful. For your next custom stainless steel installation, call Western Stainless Solutions: 1300 794 647.

Care and Use of Stainless Steel in the Shop

We would like to tell you about some of the guidelines used by stainless steel manufacturers and fabricators in Perth and across Australia. We feel that giving you some insight into what goes into taking care of stainless steel on this end can help you maximise the use you get out of it on your end.

Care and Use of Stainless Steel in the Shop

Avoiding Contamination

The number one pitfall for would-be stainless steel manufacturers is contamination of stainless steel by other elements. We avoid this by having a facility where only stainless steel is fabricated. Dual use facilities where carbon steel is also fabricated can cause carbon steel particles to contaminate stainless steel. These particles rust, giving the illusion that your stainless steel is rusting. It is extremely important to avoid contamination.

Handling

Scratches and gouges due to inappropriate handling can cause the integrity of the passive oxide film which protects stainless steel from corrosion to be breached. Consequently, all stainless steel plates and sheets are stored and transported in a way that they don’t scratch each other. Plates and sheets are never laid directly on the floor. Pirate clamps are used with caution so that they don’t gouge the surface.

Cleaning

Until the processing is complete, stainless steel is covered with paper or another protective wrapping. Stainless steel is always handled with clean gloves or cloths to keep it from getting dirty. Greasy cloths or oily rags are avoided at all times. All exposed surfaces are to be cleaned regularly, usually with a mild soap. Then, they should be rinsed thoroughly with water.

Do not use detergents that contain chlorine. Cleaning powders can scratch the surface; use them on polished surfaces only. Be sure to wipe in the same directions as the polish lines.

Remember not to use solvent cleaners in closed places or when you are smoking.

Western Stainless Solutions

To learn more about stainless steel products or for an estimate, call our Perth office today: 1300 794 647.

Stainless Steel and Salt Corrosion: Coastal Applications

Stainless steel suppliers in Perth now fabricate a lot of stainless steel products for coastal applications due to their ability to resist corrosion. This makes stainless steel a natural for many coastal applications. Today, we would like to explain how stainless steel resists corrosion and why it is so great for coastal applications.

Stainless Steel For Coastal Applications

How Stainless Steel Resists Salt Corrosion

Rust is a substance called iron oxide. It occurs when iron reacts to oxygen in the air or in water and oxidises. Stainless steel has at least 10.5% chromium and some grades up to 18%. The chromium produces a different reaction with the oxygen and produces a different oxide which becomes a surface layer.

The oxide produced by the chromium is resistant to further oxidation. It also turns into a thin passive layer on the surface. This layer is thin, but it reforms if it is scratched or machined and still provides protection to the stainless steel surface. If nickel is added as in grades 304 and 316, it extends the passivity of the surface layer.

When molybdenum is added as in grade 316, it improves the passivity even more and makes stainless steel more resistant to sulfuric, acetic and sulferous acids, in addition to salt such as that in seawater. If the correct grade of stainless steel is used, there will be no corrosion.

Applications

There are numerous possible applications for stainless steel in coastal environments. Grade 316 is one of those more commonly used for salt corrosion. The Discovery Centre in Portland, which is the oldest town in Victoria, was made entirely of stainless steel and glass. It serves as a museum and as an information centre. It is on the coast and is often buffeted by waves 2-3m high in storms. It has been open for eight years.

Also in Victoria, the Geelong Carousel Pavilion is another impressive stainless steel project. It has been open for six years and has withstood the weather in fine form.

Call 1300 794 647 to learn more.