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Stainless Steel 101: What You Need to Know

As prolific stainless steel manufacturers in Perth, we thought it would be helpful to provide you with some basic information on stainless steel. Without bogging anyone down with too much science, here are some basics.

What is Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a metal made of iron that has at least 10.5% chromium. Other metals can be added, such as manganese, molybdenum or nickel. The chromium and other metals give stainless steel its corrosion, heat and cold resistant properties.

What You Need To Know About Stainless Steel

Why Stainless Steel Doesn’t Rust

The chromium in stainless steel keeps it from rusting. It also has a low carbon content when compared to other alloys. The chromium combines with environmental oxygen to produce a thin film on the outside of any stainless steel product. No iron becomes oxidised, leaving no red rust.

The Popular Grades of Stainless Steel

There are more than 1,000 grades of stainless steel. Luckily for those making choices, there are five that are much more popular than the rest.

Grade 304 Stainless Steel

Grade 304 stainless steel is often called 18-8 because it contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel. It is the most popular stainless steel on the market. It cannot be hardened by heat treatment and is non-magnetic.

Grade 316 Stainless Steel

Grade 316 stainless steel is made of 16% chromium and 10% nickel. It is the second most popular grade. It also contains 2% molybdenum, providing it with high resistance to salt corrosion.

Grade 430 Stainless Steel

Grade 430 is a “straight” stainless steel, containing 16% chromium. Grade 430 is magnetic but can’t be hardened by heat treatment. It is less resistant to corrosion than the 300 series.

Grade 410 Stainless Steel

Grade 410 is also a “straight” stainless steel and contains 11.5% chromium. It can be hardened by heat treatment and is magnetic. It has less corrosion resistance than grade 430.

Grade 409 Stainless Steel

Grade 409 is another straight stainless steel with 10.5% chromium, the lowest level that can be called stainless steel.

About Paul

Paul Bartlett is the owner and director of Western Stainless Solutions. He has a passionate commitment to personally seeing each project through from conception to completion. Mr Bartlett has owned Western Stainless Solutions since 2005. He had prior experience as a foreman for Caterlink, where he learned to fit out numerous restaurants with stainless steel equipment.

With Western Stainless Solutions, Mr Bartlett has overseen numerous large projects, always getting them finished on time and on budget. His favourite projects include:

  • Fiona Stanley Hospital
  • Joondalup Health Campus
  • Coles Inglewood
  • Woolworths Yanchep
  • Mt Barker Chicken
  • The Merrywell Bar
  • Perth Children's Hospital
  • St John of God Subiaco refurb and development

Mr Bartlett has extensive experience in completing large projects, but is always around to add a personal touch to projects such as restaurants and pubs.

Mr Bartlett also has experience in the sports world. He currently serves as a volunteer coach for School Sports WA and spent two years as the General Manager of the Stirling Senators in the State Basketball League.

The bottom line: Mr Bartlett specialises in getting things done. He has a “hands-on” approach that is rare for owners of businesses the size of Western Stainless Solutions.