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stainless steel 18/8 detailed information about grade

stainless steel 18/8stainless steel 18/8

stainless steel 18/8 detailed information about grade

What's the difference between the different grades of stainless steel (304, 430, 220, etc.)? What do the different numbers mean (18/8, 18/10, 18/0, etc.)? We often get these questions here at MightyNest and hope this post helps answer those questions.

 18/8 stainless steel is nominally 18% chromium and 8% nickel, with the remainder being mainly iron; it does however also contain other elements, but at very low levels. It is also known as 302 or 304 grade stainless steel. This grade of stainless is generally regarded as one of the "workhorses" in stainless steel as it is widely available and cheap (relatively!). It also gives a great finish when electropolished. This type of stainless steel is usually quite soft and prone to surface damage. As far as cleaning it is concerned, it should be OK in a dishwasher as it is widely used in kitchen utensils. However, you do not say what sort of dirt you are trying to remove; if it is normal domestic contamination, there should be no problem. If it is heavier contamination, you may need to use a mild abrasive, but be warned, if it stainless has been electropolished, you may damage its reflectivity and scratch the surface. If you do scratch the surface and if it has not been electropolished, any scratches can be polished out, if you have the patience. If it has been electropolished, you would need to polish out the scratches and then re-electropolish, but electropolishing should only be done by a competent person as it uses high electric currents and very nasty chemicals. As with many stainless steels, avoid putting it in contact with high levels of chloride ions as this can etch the surface, making it rough and even promote rusting in some stainlesses.
The "grade" of stainless steel refers to its quality, durability and temperature resistance. The numbers (18/8, 18/10, etc.) are the composition of the stainless steel and refer to the amount of chromium and nickel (respectively) in the product.
So, what do the numbers mean?
18/8 and 18/10: These are the two most common grades of stainless steel used for food preparation and dining, also known as Type 304 (304 Grade) and are part of the 300 series. The first number,18, refers to the amount of chromium present and the second represents the amount of nickel.  For example, 18/8 stainless steel is comprised of 18% chromium and 8% nickel.
304 grade stainless steel is also comprised of no more than 0.8% carbon and at least 50% iron. The chromium binds oxygen to the surface of the product to protect the iron from oxidation (rust). Nickel also enhances the corrosion resistance of stainless steel.  Therefore, the higher the nickel content, the more resistant the stainless steel is to corrosion.
18/0 - Contains a negligible amount of nickel (0.75%) and therefore has a reduced corrosion resistance (is more likely to rust than 18/8 or 18/10 but still high quality) 18/0 is also referred to as Type 430, is part  of the 400 series and, unlike 300 series stainless steel, is magnetic.
200 series: You may often find stainless steel food containers made from 200 series stainless steel.  These are typically less expensive than 304 grade as manufacturers essentially substitute manganese for nickel.  Although food safe, they are not as resistant to corrosion and not as high quality as 304 grade. 

18-8 STAINLESS STEEL
Atlantic StainlessE
18-8 stainless steel contains approximately 18% chromium and 8% nickel. 18.8 has superior corrosion resistance, is hardenable by cold working, and is usually non-magnetic.
Chemical Formula
Carbon 0.15 max., Manganese 2.00 max., Phosphorus 0.045 max., Sulfur 0.030 max., Silicon 0.75 max., Chromium 18.00, Nickel 8.00, Nitrogen 0.10 max., Iron Balance
Inventory
Hardware
Features
Non-magnetic
Cannot be hardened by heat treating
Chrome-oxide surface layer
Rust resistant
Applications
Ideal for applications in highly corrosive environments
What about stainless steel flatware?
When it comes to flatware, people often assume that 18/10 is heavier in weight. Actually, there is no difference between 18/8 and 18/10 flatware when it comes to weight.  The additional nickel in 18/10 flatware makes it a bit sturdier (meaning the tines of a fork are slightly more difficult to bend back and forth). The additional nickel also lends itself to a shinier surface.
What about stainless steel cookware?
Stainless steel is a great alternative to teflon coated aluminum cookware.   However, on the stove or cook top, stainless steel alone doesn't provide optimal heating which is why pots and pans are generally made of tri-ply construction.  In the case of a stainless steel frying pan, an aluminum core is sandwiched between two layers of 18/10 stainless steel allowing heat to distribute evenly across the pan. In these pans the aluminum does not react or come into contact with food at all.

18/8 stainless steel is an outstanding metal for:

Auto trim and molding
Kitchen equipment
Wheel covers
Truck bodies
Exhaust manifolds
Storage tanks
Pressure piping and vessels
The percentage of nickel and chromium that is present in this grade of stainless steel provides this metal with good corrosion resistance properties, particularly to moderately caustic and acidic solutions. It also performs in a similar way in most non-severe conditions, except in welding. In cases where stainless steel is to be welded, stainless steel 304L grade is preferred, as it offers more resistance to intergranular corrosion.
Is stainless steel safe?
Stainless steel is one of the most common materials found in kitchens today.  It's used in everything from appliances to cookware, dishware, flatware and utensils because it is durable, easy to sanitize and corrosion resistant to various acids found in meats, milk, fruits and vegetables.  Most importantly though, stainless steel is a safe option when it comes to use with food and beverage, as there are no chemicals that can migrate into your food from these products.
We believe that stainless steel, glass, cast iron, wood, ceramics with lead-free glaze and bamboo are the safest materials to use in the kitchen. MightyNest offers a wide variety of stainless steel products including 18/8 water bottles, bowls, food storage containers and dishware as well as 18/10 pots and pans, bakeware, wine glasses and kids utensils.
Many people mistakenly believe that all stainless steel is the same. This is not true. The type and grade of stainless steel fasteners that you invest in will determine just how corrosion resistant they are and of course how durable and long lasting you can expect it to be. Whether you are buying nuts, bolts, nails and screws, rivets and pins or anchoring systems, you must take the environment into consideration.
Professionals must know what the difference is between 18-8 vs 304 vs 316-grade stainless steel. We’re going to help simplify it for you. Here’s what you need to know about each of these grades:
  • 18-8 grade stainless steel
This refers to the 300 series of stainless steel with a chromium and nickel content in percentages. That means that an 18-8 grade fastener has 18% chromium and 8% nickel content. 18-8 type stainless steel has better resistance to corrosion than the 400 series. It can be hardened by only cold working and isn’t magnetic.
  • 304 stainless steel
This is a basic alloy. It cannot be heat hardened and is also non-magnetic. While this grade of stainless steel won’t rust, it will tarnish and has a strong resistance to the effect of various chemicals and acids. It is commonly used for sinks, pots, pans, tables and similar. As such, 304 stainless steel is very often used in the dairy and brewing industries.
  • 316 stainless steel
This product offers high tensile strength and has a corrosion resistance that can withstand harsh environments. It is also non-magnetic and must be hardened through cold working. The difference between type 304 and 316 stainless steel is the incorporation of molybdenum of up to 3%. This grade of stainless steel is commonly used in the surgical industry, paper pulp industry and in the production of dyes and chemicals.

stainless steel 18/8 detailed information about grade
The following is a discussion of the various types of stainless steel. For other terms and their definitions you will encounter when dealing with stainless steel click here.
18-8: 300 series stainless steel having approximately (not exactly) 18% chromium and 8% nickel. The term "18-8" is used interchangeably to characterize fittings made of 302, 302HQ, 303, 304, 305, 384, XM7, and other variables of these grades with close chemical compositions. There is little overall difference in corrosion resistance among the "18-8" types, but slight differences in chemical composition do make certain grades more resistant than others do against particular chemicals or atmospheres. "18-8" has superior corrosion resistance to 400 series stainless, is generally nonmagnetic, and is hardenable only by cold working.
304: The basic alloy. Type 304 (18-8) is an austenitic steel possessing a minimum of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, combined with a maximum of 0.08% carbon. It is a nonmagnetic steel which cannot be hardened by heat treatment, but instead. must be cold worked to obtain higher tensile strengths.
The 18% minimum chromium content provides corrosion and oxidation resistance. The alloy's metallurgical characteristics are established primarily by the nickel content (8% mm.), which also extends resistance to corrosion caused by reducing chemicals. Carbon, a necessity of mixed benefit, is held at a level (0.08% max.) that is satisfactory for most service applications.
The stainless alloy resists most oxidizing acids and can withstand all ordinary rusting. HOWEVER, IT WILL TARNISH. It is immune to foodstuffs, sterilizing solutions, most of the organic chemicals and dyestuffs, and a wide variety of inorganic chemicals. Type 304, or one of its modifications, is the material specified more than 50% of the time whenever a stainless steel is used.
Because of its ability to withstand the corrosive action of various acids found in fruits, meats, milk, and vegetables, Type 304 is used for sinks, tabletops, coffee urns, stoves, refrigerators, milk and cream dispensers, and steam tables. It is also used in numerous other utensils such as cooking appliances, pots, pans, and flatware.
Type 304 is especially suited for all types of dairy equipment - milking machines, containers, homogenizers, sterilizers, and storage and hauling tanks, including piping, valves, milk trucks and railroad cars. This 18-8 alloy is equally serviceable in the brewing industry where it is used in pipelines, yeast pans, fermentation vats, storage and railway cars, etc. The citrus and fruit juice industry also uses Type 304 for all their handling, crushing, preparation, storage and hauling equipment.
In those food processing applications such as in mills, bakeries, and slaughter and packing houses, all metal equipment exposed to animal and vegetable oils, fats, and acids is manufactured from Type 304.
Type 304 is also used for the dye tanks, pipelines buckets, dippers, etc. that come in contact with the lormic, acetic, and other organic acids used in the dyeing industry.
In the marine environment, because of it slightly higher strength and wear resistance than type 316 it is also used for nuts, bolts, screws, and other fasteners. It is also used for springs, cogs, and other components where both wear and corrosion resistance is needed.

Type Analysis of Stainless Type 304
Carbon0.08% max.Silicon1.00% max.
Manganese2.00% max.Chromium18.00-20.00%
Phosphorus0.045% max.Nickel8.00-10.50%
Sulfur0.030% max.  
316: For severe environments. Of course, there are many industrial processes that require a higher level of resistance to corrosion than Type 304 can offer. For these applications, Type 316 is the answer.
Type 316 is also austenitic, non-magnetic, and thermally nonhardenable stainless steel like Type 304. The carbon content is held to 0.08% maximum, while the nickel content is increased slightly. What distinguishes Type 316 from Type 304 is the addition of molybdenum up to a maximum of 3%.
Molybdenum increases the corrosion resistance of this chromium-nickel alloy to withstand attack by many industrial chemicals and solvents, and, in particular, inhibits pitting caused by chlorides. As such, molybdenum is one of the single most useful alloying additives in the fight against corrosion.
By virtue of the molybdenum addition, Type 316 can withstand corrosive attack by sodium and calcium brines, hypochlorite solutions, phosphoric acid; and the sulfite liquors and sulfurous acids used in the paper pulp industry. This alloy, therefore, is specified for industrial equipment that handles the corrosive process chemicals used to produce inks, rayons, photographic chemicals, paper, textiles, bleaches, and rubber. Type 316 is also used extensively for surgical implants within the hostile environment of the body.
Type 316 is the main stainless used in the marine environment, with the exception of fasteners and other items where strength and wear resistance are needed, then Type 304 (18-8) is typically used.
Type Analysis of Stainless Type 316:
Carbon0.08% max.Silicon1.00% max.
Manganese2.00% max.Chromium16.00-18.00%
Phosphorus0.045% max.Nickel10.00-14.00%
Sulfur0.030% max.Molybdenum2.00-3.00%
We've added this more basic breakdown that includes just about every other grade of stainless steel we've heard of:
Other Types of Stainless and grades:
 
Austenitic:
Type 301 contains less chromium and nickel than 302 for more work hardening.
 
Type 302 is the basic type of the 300 series, 18% chromium— 8% nickel group. It is the renowned 188
Stainless and is the most widely used of the chromium nickel stainless and heat resisting steels.
 
Type 303 contains added phosphorus and sulfur for better machining characteristics.Corrosion resistance is slightly less than 302/304.
 
Type 303Se contains Se and P added to improve machinability.
 
Type 305 has increased nickel to lower work hardening properties.
 
Type 309-309S have added chromium and nickel for more corrosion resistance and high temperature scaling resistance. 309S contains less carbon to minimize carbide precipitation.
 
Type 310-310S have higher nickel content than 309309Sto further increase scaling resistance.310S contains less carbon than 310 to minimize carbide precipitation.
 
 
 
Type 321 contains titanium to tie up the carbon and avoid chromium carbide precipitation in welding.
 
Type 330 ultra high nickel content provides best corrosion resistance to most furnace atmospheres. This grade has low coefficient of expansion, excellent ductility and high strength.
 
Type 347 – 348 have columbium tantalum added to tie up the carbon and avoid chromium carbide precipitation in welding. Use for temperatures from 800to 1650 degrees F.
 
Ferritic:
 
Type 405 contains 12% chromium with aluminum added to prevent hardening.
 
Type 430 is the basic type in the ferritic group, possessing good ductility and excellent resistance to atmospheric corrosion. Its scaling resistance is higher than 302 in intermittent service, somewhat lower in continuous use.
 
Type 430F-430Se have sulfur and selenium (respectively) added for increased machinability.
 
Type 442 has added chromium for improved resistance to scaling.
 
Type 446 has still higher chromium content (27%) for added scaling resistance and is highest of the standard straight chromium types. Alloys with over 30% chromium become too brittle to process.
 
Martensitic:
 
Type 410 is the basic Martensitic type. It is the general purpose corrosion and heat resisting chromium stainless steel. It can be hardened by thermal treatment to a wide range of mechanical properties. It can be annealed soft for cold drawing and forming. This grade is always magnetic.
 
Type 403 is a special high quality steel made for blades and buckets for steam turbine and jetengine compressors. This grade is eminently suited for very highly stressed parts. This material is magnetic in all conditions.
 
Type 416-416Se
are modifications of Type 410, being the free machining, nonseizing, nongalling alloys. These properties are obtained by the addition of sulfur or selenium to Type 410.This is a heat treatable grade with corrosion resistance and other characteristics closely approaching those of Type 410.
 
Type 420 is a chromium stainless steel capable of heat treatment to a maximum hardness of approximately 500 Brinell. It has a maximum corrosion resistance only in the fully hardened condition. Type 420 is magnetic in all conditions.
 
Type 431 is a nickel bearing (1.25-2.00%)chromium stainless steel which may be heat treated to high mechanical properties. It is magnetic in all conditions of use. It has superior corrosion resistance to Types 410, 416, 420, 430 and 440 stainless steels.
 
Type 440C is the stainless steel that can be heat treated to the highest hardness of any of the types of stainless.
 
stainless steel 18/8 detailed information about grade
 

Cutlery stainless steel grades '18/8', '18/10' and '18/0'

Compositions of '18/8', '18/10' and 18/0'

These figures relate to the chromium and nickel contents of the steel, respectively.
'18/8' is probably the most commonly used stainless steel and contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel.
This steel is also known as '304' (in the American AISI grade designation system) or 1.4301 in the European BS EN 10088 standard.
It is an 'austenitic' type of stainless steel and so is not (or only very weakly) attracted by a magnet.
'18/10' is a designation used on some cutlery and holloware as an alternative to '18/8'. This designation is claimed to indicate a better quality steel than '18/8', and is essentially the same as the '304 (1.4301) grade . In practice the "10" does not indicate an actual higher Ni content and is purely a marketing ploy.
'18/0' is a 'ferritic' stainless steel type, which is attracted by a magnet (like pure iron). This steel is known as '430' in the AISI system or 1.4016 in the European standard.
It is used where corrosion resistance is not too demanding as an alternative to the '18/8' 304 type. The chromium content is optimistically said to be 18% but is nearer 17%.

stainless steel 18/8 detailed information about grade Applications for these grades

The austenitic and ferritic '18/8', '18/10' and '18/0' stainless steels cannot be hardened by heat treatment and so can only be used for knife handles, forks and spoons.
Hardenable martensitic types of stainless steel, like the ferritics, contain only chromium, but with additional carbon. This enables them to respond to hardening heat treatments and so they can be used for knife blades.
The best quality table knives are made in two pieces using a martensitic blade and an austenitic (18/8 or 18/10) handle, bonded together.
Less expensive cutlery is often made as single piece martensitic knives, forks and spoons. This steel is not as costly, as it does not contain the nickel of the 18/8 - 18/10 types, but consequently has lower corrosion resistance. The corrosion resistance of cutlery made in this way should however be adequate for normal tableware use.
Cutlery manufacturers may choose to limit 'life' statements or guarantees on these lower cost pieces.
 

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