Efficiency is often directly dependent on the equipment used for the job which is why stainless steel has become the preferred material in recent years for a variety of products. Its high quality, durability, dependability, ease of cleaning and sanitary nature make it the perfect choice in many professional settings and, more recently, in residential environments as well. The fact stainless steel tables are also aesthetically pleasing and fit in with many design styles is simply a bonus.
The Best Composition for Stainless Steel Alloys
Steel becomes stainless when it is combined with 10.5% chromium that has been exposed to oxygen. The process creates an extremely thin layer of oxides only a few atoms thick that prevents oxidation and is self-repairing. Although stainless steel is extremely durable, it can be damaged when it comes into contact with caustic chemicals. Such products breakdown the thin oxide layer and eventually leads to oxidation or rust. When 8% nickel or manganese and .15% carbon are also added to the stainless steel alloy even greater strength and an increased resistance to harsh chemicals and corrosion can be achieved.
Stainless Steel Grading System
The grading system for stainless steel provides consumers with the information needed to make an informed decision prior to purchasingindustrial stainless steel tables. When temperature resistance, quality and durability are evaluated two numbers are given to the alloy that indicates proposed uses as well as the chemical composition and characteristics. For example, the most common grade used in the foodservice industry is a 304 grade 18/8 and 18/10. These numbers indicate that:
- the alloy can be used for food preparation and dining; and
- the alloy is comprised of 18% chromium, 8% nickel, 0.8% carbon, and at least 50% iron which will protect it from corrosion and rust.
There are more than 3,500 grades of stainless steel. Some are used to make industrial stainless steel tables. Here is a short list of the major categories and their uses:
- Type 102 – is a general purpose stainless steel most often used for pots and pans and cooking utensils.
- 200 Series – has lower corrosion resistance than the 300 series making it ideal for residential use in kitchens and for decorative elements in automobiles.
- 300 Series – 316 has superior durability and excellent corrosion resistance. It is often referred to as marine grade. 304 has excellent corrosion resistance and is reasonably priced. And 303 is less weldable but more machinable. Uses include the food service industry, food processing equipment, forming pipes, vats and bowls, and in design.
- 400 Series – is often used for moderately corrosive applications, is very durable, and has excellent corrosion resistance. 430 is often used in applications such as restaurant kitchen work tables.
- 2000 Series – has excellent corrosion resistance and has properties that increase strength. It is often used in the marine industry.
How to Care for Industrial Stainless Steel Tables
These tables are easy to care for even when harsh chemicals are used. Individuals should follow a few basic rules in order to extend the life of the product while maximizing its use:
- When using bleach or other chemical agents make sure they are diluted in water prior to making contact with the table surface.
- Should a chemical spill occur make sure it is cleaned up immediately and the area is rinsed as soon as possible.
- The table should be cleaned at the end of each shift, project, and/or job.
- Clean tables using a mild soap and water.
- Wipe stainless steel surfaces with the grain when cleaning.
- Never use abrasive materials like steel wool.
- Never use caustic chemicals such as those that end in “ine” on stainless steel surfaces.
With the right information selecting the perfect stainless steel table is easy and with the right kind of care it should last for many years.