Stainless steel can be found throughout a commercial kitchen from chafers and sauce cups to the six burner range and reach-in refrigerator. To maximize its protective, aesthetic and functional qualities, it is vital that its ingredients, grading systems and uses are understood fully.
The gauge system has long been used in Britain as a method of specifying thickness. It was widely utilized before standard and metric units became widely adopted, and an easy conversion chart can be found online.
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Stainless steel is an extremely strong, resilient metal that stands up well to corrosion in many environments. Plus, its versatility means it can easily be formed or joined to other metals. As such, this material makes an excellent choice for kitchen equipment, major appliances, medical and surgical instruments, vehicles, construction material used in large buildings, tanks used to supply or treat water, etc. Stainless steel is produced through the alloying of multiple metals, with chromium and nickel being two key ingredients. This combination creates a hard, strong metal that can be rolled into sheet, rod, bar tubing and wire forms. Types of stainless steel alloy are classified according to iron content as well as percentages of chromium and nickel; then these alloys are further divided into series and grades for easy classification.
Some types of stainless steel are more resistant to corrosion than others due to the different concentrations of chromium and nickel; therefore it is essential that you select an alloy which best meets your application and needs for its optimal use. Proper care and maintenance may further lower corrosion risks.
Corrosion usually results from prolonged exposure to corrosive substances, but localized attacks such as pitting or crevice corrosion may also take place. Such attacks often stem from chemical or mechanical interaction with liquid or gas components in contact with metal surfaces.
As different alloys may be more susceptible to corrosion depending on their use and environment, selecting an appropriate grade is vital for long-term use. For instance, stainless steel type 304 offers good resistance against mild conditions while it may not withstand acidic environments as easily.
A stainless steel sheet can be an extremely reliable material that stands up well against many types of corrosion, but prolonged exposure to corrosive chemicals can lead to pitting corrosion – where small holes form on its surface – that compromises both appearance and performance. There are ways you can decrease this risk through applying appropriate finishes and maintaining the sheet properly.
Stainless steel is not considered corrosionproof; however, some grades of it can be more resistant than others. 304 grade stainless steel contains more nickel and molybdenum than other grades, making it more resistant to chemical processing applications, including corrosion. Furthermore, this sheet is non-magnetic which could prove particularly helpful if being used commercial kitchen environments.
One aspect to keep in mind when purchasing stainless steel sheets is their gauge designation. This system was originally developed in Britain as a way of specifying wire thickness without using standard or metric measurement systems; today you can use gauge conversion charts to determine how thick pieces of stainless steel really are.
When selecting the appropriate gauge for your project, it is also essential to take into account the bending capabilities of the machine you will use to bend it. You can do this by dividing tensile strength of material by maximum capacity of your machine – this will determine its thickness in inches.
Although stainless steel is tough and resilient, it still needs to be treated properly in order to remain functional and look its best. Rust can form on its surface over time, negatively affecting both appearance and performance; for this reason it should be cleaned off regularly to maintain optimal appearance and functionality of this metal. Other forms of corrosion such as pitting can occur on stainless steel surfaces due to improper care or usage resulting in tiny holes appearing on its surface that must be addressed promptly in order to preserve performance and aesthetics.
To prevent problems from this source, selecting the appropriate type of stainless steel sheet is vital. With over 200 types available – each offering its own specific properties such as being resistant to staining and corrosion better than others – and an understanding of all their alloys and grades of stainless steel available, it can be tricky selecting one type over another.
In general, high-grade stainless steel will contain more chromium than any other element, as this forms an antirusting and stain-protection layer to resist rust and staining. A higher chromium content also offers increased heat resistance. Other elements present include carbon silicon nickel and molybdenum.
To determine the thickness of stainless steel pieces, it’s necessary to calculate their gauge number. A sheet’s gauge number can be determined by multiplying its length and width times 1000 before dividing by 1000 again; the resultant mil measurement represents its thickness in thousands ofths of an inch – for instance a 20-gauge sheet has an approximate thickness of 0.315 mils which makes it suitable for many projects.
Stainless steel sheets come in an assortment of finishes and patterns to meet a range of specific needs. Their features include being durable, attractive and easy to maintain – plus being non-magnetic so they resist impact – which make them suitable for industrial settings. Furthermore, it can easily be cut with metal snips, hacksaws or jigsaws – plus being bent or welded. However, it’s important to take into consideration where and how the sheet will be used – for instance thicker stainless steel might be stronger but heavier or harder to manage than thinner stainless steel versions – which may affect handling capabilities when handling options are considered; thicker stainless steel will usually provide greater strength but heavier and harder handling when handling compared with thinner options.
TBK Metal offers custom-cut stainless steel sheets in various sizes and textures, such as the popular brushed finish created by brushing the material in one direction to produce a subdued shine that’s attractive without being distracting or blinding – ideal for kitchen backsplashes, appliance enclosures and architectural designs.
An embossed stainless steel surface creates beautiful concave and convex patterns and textures with ease, perfect for ceiling tiles, wall cladding, elevator interiors or painting to match a particular color scheme.
TBK Metal offers stainless steel sheets in various shades through physical vapor deposition (PVD), making your project seamless with consistent high-quality aesthetic. We apply PVD coating that’s corrosion resistant. Color options can be applied both mirror-polished and brushed sheets for consistent high-quality looks in various hues.
Stainless steel is an extremely recyclable material; in fact, more recycled than paper, aluminum and glass combined! Steel’s highly energy efficient production also reduces mining and land-based resource needs while simultaneously cutting energy consumption costs.
20 gauge stainless steel sheet’s chromium content gives it its anti-corrosion capabilities and also makes it resistant to staining and etching, though its precise level may differ by alloy. Although, its percentage can range anywhere between 10.5%-10% of total content – and higher concentrations provide better anti-corrosion capabilities.
To protect against corrosion, stainless steel can be immersed in an acid bath that creates a protective oxide coating, a process called passivation. This can be performed manually or automatically depending on your application and environment; thicknesses of oxide layers vary greatly based on which environment they will be placed into service in.
Another method of protecting stainless steel against corrosive environments is electrochemical polishing, which uses electric currents to remove corrosion products from its surface. Electrochemical methods have become commonplace across many manufacturing applications such as automobiles, aircraft, ships, and food processing equipment.
To prevent corrosion and other forms of damage to stainless steel, it should be properly cleaned after each use. Washing with mild, caustic or acidic solutions may help remove contaminants and residues before being rinsed with fresh water or cleaned using appropriate cleaners – these cleaning methods include abrasive blasting, chemical stripping and power washing.