Myths About Stainless Steel

06 May.,2024


Myths About Stainless Steel

It's wonderful, isn't it?

Did you know Stainless steel has been used since 1990s for numerous industries including skyscrapers all the way down to kitchen utensils? But you're not here for facts like that. 

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(If you want facts on Maintence you should be reading this blog. Or if you want to know about Stainless Steel Finishes, you should be reading this blog)

Let's get down to the nitty gritty - The things most people believe to be true about stainless steel but are in fact total myths.

"Stainless Steel Will NEVER Rust"
This statement is true in MOST cases, but not all. Stainless steel resists corrosion better than most other metals because of a very thin, colorless passive layer that forms spontaneously on the surface to protect the metal below. If you're in a super corrosive environment or do not take the steps to protect your piece, rust can occur.

“Stainless Steel is not Magnetic”
Remember when stainless steel refrigerators became popular and everyone kind of lost it for a little bit about not being able to hang artwork on the fridge anymore? Some of the most common types of stainless steel aren’t magnetic. But some types are. Your Kitchen sink, for example, probably has magnetic properties. We aren't in the appliance business so I can't explain that conundrum to you, sorry. - Just know with such a versitle metal, the abilities and properties are versitle too.

“Stainless Steel is Expensive”
Stainless steels is more costly than other carbon steels, yes, but the extra performance of stainless steel more than pays for the difference. Some metals may be cheaper up front but require lengthy and costly upkeep later on. The cost of stainless in dollars per day for the life of the job will be much lower than some alternative metals.

“All Stainless Steels have the same Corrosion Resistance”
The surface finish and fabrication practice can have a major effect. The corrosion resistance of stainless steels mostly depends on the content of the alloying elements chromium and molybdenum, plus a few other factors, depending on the specific application.

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"Stainless Steel is not recycle friendly"
Steel is one of the most recycled materials on the planet. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, approximately 88% of the world’s steel is recycled. Further, two out of three tons of new steel come from old steel. Stainless Steel = very green for the environment.

If you have any other questions on stainless steel, we'd be happy to answer in the comments or you can contact us.

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Stainless Steel Basics


There are over 150 different grades of stainless steel, four of which have proven to be the best suited for foodservice equipment. But because the prices of raw materials (especially nickel) have risen dramatically in recent years, buyers today must be especially careful of equipment manufacturers that carelessly “skimp” on essential ingredients. Let’s look at the formulations of the four most common grades.

Stainless Steel Grade Description Commonly Used For 304 Often referred to as “18-8,” 304 stainless steel consists mainly of iron plus 18% chromium and 8% nickel. This formula provides a well-balanced combination of strength plus superior resistance to corrosion and staining caused by acidic foods. Its higher nickel content also allows for more workability to prevent cracking when making products such as stock pots. 304 stainless steel is specified for more than half of all foodservice products. Cookware, steam table pans, chafers, serving trays, utensils, etc. 301 This is “17-6” stainless steel, made of iron plus 17% chromium and 6% nickel. Since 301 has less nickel, it is stronger but more likely to crack if formed too dramatically. Sinks, pots and pans, food processing equipment 201 201 stainless steel consists of iron plus 17% chromium and 4.5% nickel. This formula has 6.5% manganese to partially substitue for the lower nickel content. This substitution is cheaper to produce but results in slightly lower corrosion resistance. Counters, oven parts, pan covers, tray slides 430 This grade of stainless steel contains 17% chromium and little or no nickel. The lack of nickel makes this formula difficult to form and more susceptible to corrosion than 300 series stainless steel. Cabinet panels such as for refrigerators and buffet lines, carts, flatware

Stainless steel is made up of several elements, and each of these elements serves a different purpose, like ingredients in a recipe. Similar to restaurants, some stainless steel manufacturers use only the finest ingredients, while some skimp in order to cut their costs. These low-quality manufacturers depend on customers not to know the difference – until it’s too late. But if you know the ingredients that are in stainless steel, you can invest in high-quality products that will provide you with maximum performance and durability.

Basic Ingredients in Stainless Steel

  • Iron - Very strong, very corrosive. Makes up 70-75% of stainless steel.
  • Chromium - Highly non-corrosive. To be called "stainless", steel must have a minimum of 11% chromium.
  • Nickel - Soft, some corrosion resistance. Makes metal easier to form and adds luster.
  • Manganese - Binds steel alloys together, reducing brittleness and cracking.
  • Copper - Soft, conducts heat and electricity. Can replace nickel to make metal easier to form.
  • Carbon - Strong, corrosive. Added for strength.

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