The qualities of stainless steel make it an outstanding medium to work with in a modern kitchen.
It is generally corrosive resistant, with varying amounts of nickel and chromium. Increasing the content of chromium and in particular nickel gives resistance in more hostile environments.
With the addition of niobium, titanium, molybdenum and other exotic metals, grades are created with properties enabling working environments of 1170 degrees Celsius scaling temperature and down to around - 200 degrees Celsius. With other grades capable of performing well in aggressive acid conditions and a number of other specific applications.
Our interest is with the austenitic range which is one of the four most common types of stainless steel, the other three being duplex, ferritic and martensitic. Austenitic stainless steel is non magnetic with about 18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel and is by far the most utilised group. We work mostly with grade T304, 18 gauge (1.2 mm) when fabricating stainless benchtops, typical analysis (%) Cr 18.3, Ni 8.7, C 0.4.
While stainless steel is resistant to most substances found around the home care must be taken with the chemical agents used for cleaning tiles and concrete surfaces (usually only encountered during the construction period). These chemicals will cause pitting/corrosion. Care must be taken to protect the stainless steel surface. Wiping is not sufficient. The acid MUST BE NEUTRALISED QUICKLY.
Hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide can cause general corrosion. Passivity can be restored using an oxidising acid such as nitric acid. Avoid chlorides, bromides and flourides. Liquid hand soap often contains chemicals which may corrode stainless steel. We do not recommend that hot pots or hot roasting dishes, etc, being placed directly onto a stainless steel bench. The heat may result in your bench delaminating from the frame. We recommend the use of a pot stand.
Today’s modern kitchen design maintains straight, clean lines. Stainless steel benchtops will give you a timeless look whereas other benchtops may date your kitchen when colours change with fashion. We suggest you consider the following information to assist you with your stainless steel benchtop design:
Whether it be your stainless benchtop or sink, the following tips for cleaning stainless steel will ensure you enjoy your kitchen for years to come.
Note: If you have a textured bench you may find that over a period of several months you may get a slight build-up of dirt. This can be removed by scrubbing the area with a brush you would clean your finger nails with and Sunlight soap (not Jiff). Then wipe the soap off with a paper towel.