Stainless Steel Grates – Are All Created Equally?

Get an Expert Opinion on Stainless Steel Grates

There are many products that we use that we just presume “are what they are”, with no consideration that their may be variance in, or even grades of, quality. This presumption is most likely incorrect of all things, And, while what is good, bad, better, or worse may be subjective, there are nonetheless differences within a product to which we are ignorant because of a lack of sensitivity (perhaps in some cases requiring specialised equipment for detection), or expertise.

So, what’s the potential problem with this for the consumer? In some cases, nothing, we may remain blissfully ignorant of having an inferior product (who can tell the difference between a 12 and 80 dollar bottle of wine, right?). In other cases, differences become apparent over a passage of time, This is the case for stainless steel grades and grate

Off the shelf, there may not appear to be much in the way of difference between brands of stainless steel grates. However, even if the “write up”, or even the grade of steel, is the same, over time the differences in material quality and manufacturing practices becomes clear – inferior products may rust, stain, warp, or even break. This is why it pays to do your research. Here is the low-down when it comes to stainless steel grates.

The Material

Stainless Steel Grates are frequently made of 304 and 316 grade stainless steel

The Australian steel in Australia is to a standard, set by the American Iron and Steel Institute. The AISI has a tolerance on the constituents that make up stainless steel. This said however, Chinese stainless steel sometimes is substandard, namely, they may not have their percentage of constituents up to date. They may lack nickle, they may lack chromium. only by a percent or two, but it will have adverse effect on the grates through China. Through the use of an X ray machine that analyses all the constituents of stainless steel, it has proven over the years that Chinese stainless generally doesn’t come up to par.

If you take the example of the 304 grade stainless steel sold to Australia by Chins, if tested with this X ray machine, it’ll bring out its percentages of elements within the stainless steel which is generally a little bit substandard to the stainless of Australian or other countries (like, for example India, or other major mills, Swedish stainless steel, Indonesian isn’t too bad). Chinese seems to most lack.

The Manufacturing

Stainless steel grates are an intricate thing – they are a bunch of unions. or sections, that are joined together to make a grate. If poorly manufactured, there is a lot that can go wrong.

As a general practice of manufacturing, stainless steel needs to be pacified once it’s manufactured. If it changes its appearance, is cut, welded, edged, and so on, the surface of the stainless steel is interrupted, it is cut and, in essence, needs to re-heal – this is where passivation comes in.

Passivation is a chemical dunking in a solution of hydroflouric nitric, other chemicals, and wetting agents, that will heal any scar on stainless steel. It stops the leaching, the tea stained brown of iron (the largest component of stainless steel) from coming out of the stainless steel. As we noted earlier, stainless steel grates are intricate things that, even with immerse passivation, are prone to crevice corrosion, as you just can’t get into every nook and cranny… we are talking microns.

Passivation is a global practice (standard), though from some of the other products we see on the market, it would seem likely that some of the Chinese imports do not undergo this common process.

Looking for the Best? Forget About the Rest!

At Auswave Products, we supply grates that can match, if not exceed all the “big-hitters” globally, as evidenced by the fact that our grates can be found all over the world.

We have the ability to design, draw and manufacture. Stainless steel grates, particularly architectural stainless steel systems, are what we do and our product truly leads the field in quality.

Contact us today to enquire about how our world class stainless steel grates can enrich and support your project.

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