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How to Take Care of Stainless Steel

As a custom stainless steel manufacturer in Perth, we like to see our clients happy. The way that happens is if the stainless steel products we supply for them go on to provide years of great service for them. For outdoor applications, that means being able to withstand the Perth climate due to its corrosion resistance. For medical or hospitality industry, it means providing a surface that helps them adhere to enhanced sanitation standards.

When caring for stainless steel, corrosion resistance and cleanliness go hand in hand. Corrosion resistance makes it easy to keep stainless steel clean, and keeping it clean helps to preserve its corrosion resistance characteristics. We would like to provide a basic guide for the care and cleaning of stainless steel. One of the main advantages stainless steel has over many manufacturing materials is that stainless steel products have a long shelf life. We want to do everything we can to help you do that.

How To Take Care Of Stainless Steel

Cleaning Stainless Steel: the Oxide Layer

Stainless steel needs to be cleaned properly to help preserve its sanitation, its aesthetics and its corrosion resistance. Stainless steel is an alloy which contains at least 10.5% chromium. The chromium on the surface of stainless steel reacts with environmental oxygen to form a layer of chromium oxide. This is a passive layer that protects stainless steel from other oxidative elements and stresses.

If this layer is contaminated by dirt or any material, the contamination interferes with what is known as the passivation process. Corrosive agents are trapped and the corrosion protection can be reduced or compromised. To preserve and protect the integrity and appearance of the surface, frequent cleaning on a regular basis is necessary.

Stainless steel can be cleaned many different ways and actually performs better when cleaned often. It is impossible to “wear out” the outer protective layer of stainless steel through frequent cleaning as long as it is done correctly. The main factors to be considered are the grain/pattern orientation, surface/pattern roughness and for exterior use, maximum rain cleaning.

Cleaners and Methods for Stainless Steel

The most important factor: you must always consider the potential for abrasive substances, even “grit” in cleaning water, to damage stainless steel. Cleaners that aren’t properly removed can cause corrosion after cleaning. If your finish is dull or has been finished with a coarse polishing grit, you have more “leeway.”

The best procedure, no matter how much leeway you have, is to avoid using any abrasive cleaners. If you are going to use an abrasive cleaner, experiment with a “soft abrasive” in an inconspicuous area. If cleaning a special finish, seek advice from your supplier. Abrasive cleaners can also pose a risk if they are not thoroughly rinsed away from the surface.

Clean Water and Wipe

The simplest solution is the most recommended solution. Many stainless steel surfaces clean fine with clean water and a soft cloth. This can be effective for mild stains, loose soil and dirt. Then, simply rinse it with more water and wipe dry.

Cleaning Solvents

You can use an organic solvent to remove greases, oils and fingerprints that haven’t had enough time to decompose or oxidise. Mineral spirits, methyl alcohol, acetone or any of many commercially available solvent cleaners that don’t contain chlorine are appropriate. Smaller stainless steel objects can be immersed in a solution of the appropriate solvent and wiped with a cloth. The main caveat here is that solvents can cause streaking.

Household Cleaners

There are two different types of household cleaners: abrasive and non-abrasive. We recommend mild detergents that contain no chlorine. Abrasive household cleaners can cause scratching.

Commercial Cleaners

Commercial cleaners are better suited for heavy-duty cleaning. Always adhere to manufacturer’s recommendations when using commercial cleaners to ensure that you don’t damage the surface.

Western Stainless Solutions

We have provided custom design stainless steel products and installation from our Perth area facility for over thirty years. From small pubs to major hospitals, we provide bespoke stainless steel solutions for a variety of applications.

Call 1300 794 647 today to learn more.

How to Maintain Stainless Steel in Your Kitchen, Bar or Restaurant

One of our specialties is custom design stainless steel installation. Though we also provide solutions for the medical, mining and commercial building industries, we have provided a lot of Perth area restaurants, bars and pubs with state of the art, custom stainless steel equipment.

One of the best ways to keep your stainless steel as good as new and help it provide years of service is to maintain it properly. Here are some tips on how to do just that.

How to Maintain Stainless Steel in Your Kitchen, Bar or Restaurant

Why Stainless Steel for Restaurants?

Stainless steel is the material of choice for restaurants because of its corrosion resistance and its high “cleanability.” Stainless steel is an alloy that has a thin layer of chromium on the outer surface. When the chromium surface reacts with air, it produces a surface that is very slick and highly resistant to most forms of corrosion.

If maintained properly, stainless steel provides a sanitary surface that is easy to clean for years. However, if it is exposed to oil, dirt, scratches or anything that interferes with the interaction between the chromium and the air, its corrosion resistance can be greatly compromised.

How to Clean Stainless Steel

The good news about stainless steel: if you clean it properly, the chromium layer on stainless steel never erodes or wears away.

To clean a stainless steel surface, use a wet cloth with a mild detergent. Often, a damp bar towel will clean a stainless steel surface just fine, but a mild detergent added to water is good if needed. If your stainless steel has a “grain” or a brushed finish, always wipe in the direction of the finish. This will keep you from damaging the finish.

Some Other Important Tips:

Avoid abrasive cleaners; use baking soda for tough stains or baked on food. Clean spills ASAP. Rinse the surface immediately after cleaning, then dry immediately. Don’t ever use chlorine.

Call 1300 794 647 to learn more.

What You Need to Know About Stainless Steel Grates

Stainless steel fabricators in Perth produce a lot of grandiose equipment for many medical, industrial and hospitality applications. One of the most overlooked is the stainless steel grate. Stainless steel grates are used as grease filters in kitchen canopies, but are used more commonly in liquid transfer applications where filtering is needed.

What You Need to Know About Stainless Steel Grates

Stainless steel is especially effective in food processing environments because it is non-porous and easily cleaned, ensuring that they won’t cause airborne bacteria as grates of other materials could. Stainless steel is the material of choice in the food industry because sanitation is so important. Stainless steel is easily kept sanitary, which is essential in any food or medical application.

Stainless steel grates are also used in the transfer of water or corrosive liquids because it is corrosion-resistant. It doesn’t rust and it isn’t corroded by most corrosive materials. This allows it to filter a wide range of fluids with no degradation of the stainless steel and no contamination of the liquid being filtered.

A Sampling of Industries using Stainless Steel Grates

Stainless steel grates have many other applications. As mentioned, they are used for food processing, water processing and in the chemical industry. They are also used in the mining industry, oil refineries, steel plants, wastewater facilities, machinery plants, cement plants, the pharmacy industry and civil engineering.

Basically, wherever there is a need for drainage filters, stainless steel is the best solution.

Call Western Stainless Solutions

At Western Stainless Solutions, we have been providing custom stainless steel products to Perth and WA for over thirty years. We provide bespoke solutions for a wide range of industries for an even wider range of applications.

We have created many solutions for the mining industry, hospitality industry and medical industry. We also provide stainless steel fabrication for a wide range of industrial applications.

We combine the highest of quality with prompt turnaround times. We always finish on budget and on time. To learn more, call us today:1300 794 647.

What’s on the Menu: Your Kitchen Dictates Your Stainless Steel Canopy Needs

We provided an earlier blog post concerning custom design stainless steel installation of kitchen canopies for our many Perth customers. We would like to give a little bit more information about how your kitchen use and design will dictate your canopy design.

Stainless Steel Kitchen Canopy

A lot of it is determined by the Government in Australian Standard AS-1668.2-2012. AS-1668.2 provides a thorough explanation of minimum requirements regarding size and placement of kitchen canopies. We always advise exceeding minimum requirements when it allows for greater safety and/or greater ease and efficiency of operation.

When Do You Need a Canopy?

We recommend a canopy for all facilities that cook food, but AS-1668.2-2012 does allow for some leeway. Here are the current regulations for when a canopy is required by law:

  • If the total maximum power input of electric cooking equipment is more than 8 kW or more than 0.5 kW/m2 of the total kitchen area.
  • If the total gas input is 29MJ/h or higher or 1.8MJ/m2 of the total kitchen area.
  • The Local Government or Council deems it necessary to install a canopy.

Practical Design

Basically, your kitchen’s function and layout are going to dictate how many canopies you need and how large they are. We published the minimum size requirements in the earlier post on design tips for kitchen canopies.

When we do an onsite consultation and begin the design process, we take a lot of factors into consideration. First of all, we want to make sure the canopy does its job: removing airborne toxic byproducts of cooking and excess heat from the building. This means we not only have to make sure the canopy is large enough, but that the fan has sufficient power for your application.

Then, it is a matter of matching it up to the available space in your kitchen.

Call 1300 794 647 to learn more.

Tips for Designing Your Stainless Steel Kitchen Canopy

We perform a lot of custom design stainless steel installation jobs in the Perth area. One of our most common is a stainless steel kitchen canopy. Kitchen canopies are made of stainless steel because it is one of the few materials that is compliant with Australian Standard 1668.2-2012.

According to the standard, the material used to construct a commercial kitchen canopy must be “manufactured of rigid, impervious, hard faced, non-combustible material such as steel or stainless steel…”

Stainless Steel Kitchen Canopy

Benefits of Stainless Steel in Kitchens

Stainless steel possesses a combination of hardness and workability that is non-existent in any material that doesn’t cost hundreds of times as much as stainless steel. The hardness and non-porous nature of stainless steel makes it easy to clean. This is extremely important for a canopy that will have smoke from various oils baked into it on a daily basis.

Stainless steel is also resistant to corrosion and nearly impervious to damage from vermin. When stainless steel is kept clean, it gives off a sparkle that adds to the aesthetics of any kitchen.

Size Matters

Your exhaust opening needs to be large enough to catch all of the exhaust coming from any gas appliance such as an oven or a fryer. However, the exhaust must be designed in a manner that no condensation falls onto appliances through exhaust openings. The openings must be within 500 mm of the exhaust plenum extremities at a minimum width of 75 mm to allow access for cleaning.

When the exhaust hood is attached to a wall, the wall must form part of the hood. The base of the hood must be equipped with a condensation gutter that is at least 25 mm deep and 50 mm wide. The gutter must have drainage holes with a diameter of 25 mm, with removable screw caps.

Call Western Stainless Solutions

To learn more about custom design stainless steel installation, call our Perth office today: 1300 794 647.

Why Stainless Steel is Crucial for Hygiene in Commercial Kitchens

As one of the most prolific stainless steel manufacturers and suppliers in Perth, we find ourselves providing bespoke solutions for a lot of kitchens. Stainless steel is the hygienic standard for kitchens because it is the best material that can be realistically used to build sinks, tables, benches and shelving. Other than using a grossly expensive metal such titanium, stainless steel is the surface that is the easiest to keep sanitary.

Stainless Steel is Crucial for Hygiene in Commercial Kitchens

In a restaurant or commercial kitchen, sanitation is important to prevent foodborne illnesses. It is also important to prevent food from being cross-contaminated by other substances. Stainless steel is so hygienic because it is easy to clean thoroughly. Stainless steel doesn’t have any pores, making it virtually impossible for dirt, bacteria, fungi or viruses to gain a “foothold.”

This quality is often referred to as “cleanability.” The cleanability of stainless steel is roughly equivalent to that of china or glass. It is far superior to materials such as plastic, earthenware or aluminium. When all of this is put together, you get a surface that provides aesthetics, economy, durability and flavour protection.

Stainless steel is so effective for food applications that it is rapidly becoming the material of choice for food containers in rural areas of countries with developing economies. Often, food is stored in the open and sold in the streets, exposing it to dust and other air pollutants. Stainless steel containers help control and minimise health risks.

Its resistance to corrosion not only makes it last a long time but also reinforces its non-porous nature. While stainless steel is a durable and sturdy surface, it is also soft enough that it can be easily formed into whatever piece of equipment is necessary.

Call Western Stainless Solutions Today

Western Stainless Solutions can manufacture stainless steel kitchen equipment to your specifications. For a site visit and an estimate or for more information, call us today: 1300 794 647.

Reasons Why Industrial Trades Use Stainless Steel Workbenches

We have completed many custom design stainless steel installation projects in the Perth area. While many are for the medical and hospitality industries, we also install a lot of stainless steel workbenches for industrial trade applications. There are four key reasons why the industrial trades use stainless steel workbenches.

Why Industrial Trades Use Stainless Steel Workbenches

Corrosion Resistance

Stainless steel, by definition, contains at least 10.5% chromium. This makes stainless steel highly resistant to corrosion. The chromium reacts with the other elements to form an oxide film on the surface. This film is so thin that it is invisible to the naked eye, but it adheres firmly to the metal and protects it from a wide range of corrosive agents. The film actually utilises oxygen to repair itself when degraded, allowing for easy repair of damage from abrasion, scratching or cutting.

A low-alloyed grade of stainless steel will resist atmospheric corrosion, while higher-alloyed grades provide more protection against corrosive chemicals, whether they be acid, alkaline or chlorine-based.

Resistance to High and Low Temperatures

Stainless steel is generally resistant to standard extremes in temperatures. However, certain grades afford more protection against extreme heat while others provide protection against extreme cold.

Strength

Because stainless steel is so innately strong, it is often used in design to lower costs. Stainless steel doesn’t need to be as thick as other metals. This reduces overall weight while also reducing costs compared to other materials. Some stainless steel grades can be heat-treated for extreme strength.

Cleanliness and Hygiene

Stainless steel is the most sanitary and easy to clean of all materials that one can reasonably use in the industrial trades. It is comparable to titanium but at a fraction of the cost. The main reasons are the aforementioned film that covers the surface and the fact that stainless steel is very hard and non-porous.

Call Western Stainless Solutions

Call us today for a consultation. Learn more about our custom designed stainless steel workbenches: 1300 794 647.