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.

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.

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.

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.

Call Us Today

If you have a building that may look good with a stainless steel exterior, call Western Stainless Solutions 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 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.

How to Tackle Tea Staining on Stainless Steel

For every stainless steel installation we complete in the Perth area, we conduct thorough follow-up. That follow-up not only ensures that our customers are 100% satisfied, but it also allows us the opportunity to further refine our service and our products.

One of the topics that comes up on later follow throughs is tea staining. Many of our customers don’t know the expression, so we thought it would be productive to explain tea staining here and how to neutralise it.

Tackle Tea Staining on Stainless Steel

What it Tea Staining?

Tea staining is a brown surface stain on stainless steel. It is actually rust; it is usually caused by salt air or similar atmospheric conditions. The good news is that a tea stain isn’t actually a stain and doesn’t affect the structural integrity of your stainless steel surface.

Cleaning Tea Staining

Stainless steel keeps best when it is cleaned with soap, water or mild cleaners. To combat tea staining, start with a bleach-free, chalk-based cream cleanser. Put it on a damp, soft cloth and clean gently. This should be enough. If it isn’t, though, the next step is a commercial stainless steel cleaner.

Always handle commercial stainless steel cleansers with care because they are often formulated with dangerous chemicals such as sulfamic, oxalic or phosphoric acids. After using any of these on a surface, it is important to rebalance the ph of the stainless steel with a sodium bicarbonate or 1% ammonia solution. Then, simply rinse the surface with clean water and gently wipe it dry.

If this doesn’t do the job, you can use a synthetic pad to rub the stain out. Always rub in the direction of the grain because pads are abrasive and can remove microscopic particles. This will change the dynamics and characteristics of your surface.

Call Western Stainless Solutions

If your restaurant, medical facility, mining facility or shop needs some stainless steel equipment, call the professionals at Western Stainless Solutions today: 1300 794 647.