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 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 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.

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.