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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.

Stainless Steel: The Best Material for Our Environment?

As a WA stainless steel product manufacturer, Western Stainless Solutions is proud of many things about stainless steel. One of the factors that makes us the most proud: stainless steel has less environmental impact than other metals.

To help ensure that we have a high quality of life in Australia, materials that we use for building should meet technical performance standards, be usable in a high number of applications, have a long shelf life and be friendly to the environment. In other words, the products should not only last a long time, but be 100% recyclable when their product life is finished. Stainless steel passes every test.

Best Material For The Environment - Stainless Steel

Desirable Characteristics of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has natural corrosion resistance because it is made partially of chromium. In addition, it is nearly twice as strong as mild steel. It has high cleanability, making it the surface of choice in situations where hygiene standards are strict, such as the medical or food and beverage industries.

Stainless steel is resistant to both heat and cold, making it perfect for use in low or high temperatures. Despite this strength and resistance, it is easily fabricated into the products you need. Stainless steel also has an aesthetic appeal that is unmatched by other materials and can be enhanced even further by brushing, polishing and texturing.

Stainless Steel: Even More Versatile than You Think

Stainless steel has many uses. In the home, you may see it in appliance trim, sinks and cookware. There are many industrial uses, the most common being chemical process and food preparation equipment. Entrance ways, building roofs, kitchen exhaust hoods and medical instruments are also made of stainless steel.

Stainless steel is also an important part of anti-pollution devices such as automobile catalytic converters and is also used to produce filters in the utility industry that “scrub” exhaust gases from stacks.

Call Western Stainless Solutions

For your next custom design stainless steel installation, call Western Stainless Solutions: 1300 794 647.