The reasons for choosing stainless steel in countless food and beverage related applications are best illustrated by a few examples of why its special properties make it uniquely suited to them. We've chosen the following:
The Kitchen Sink
The formability of stainless steel provides great versatility for the design of sinks. Double bowls, integral draining boards, etc. are a great convenience compared to earlier ceramic versions, while the material is much more resistant to heat and damage than plastic composites. It also complements any worktop colour or design.
Stainless steel has become the dominant material for both commercial and domestic cookware. The pans must resist attack by even the most aggressive foodstuffs and must survive harsh cleaning over many years. It is also ideal for the handles which remain cool due to its low thermal conductivity. 304, often called 18-8 or 18-10, is the most common alloy used. Some high-end cookware is available in a more corrosion resistant stainless steel called 316L.
Modern Kitchen Design
Stainless steel transforms the modern kitchen. Its clean, contemporary lines lend elegance to the design while its functionality means that it is easy to maintain and safe in contact with food.
A major advantage of stainless steel is that it blends harmoniously with so many different colours and materials. It is truly the chameleon of modern design.
Commercial Food Processing
Many food products are corrosive to many materials. This is especially true when they are acidic and contain salt (sodium or calcium chloride). For tomato paste equipment such as this, highly-alloyed duplex or super-austenitic grades of stainless steel are available to provide the essential pitting and stress corrosion cracking resistance.
Stainless steels, mainly Type 304, have largely replaced traditional materials such as ceramic tiles, aluminum and plastic laminates as they are heat-resistant, less easily damaged and can be kept scrupulously clean.
Micro-organisms thrive in beer, so that strict hygiene is an absolute must for a modern brewery. Stainless steel is used extensively for items such as tanks, piping, valves, pumps and heat exchangers because it can be kept scrupulously clean.
Stainless steel is strong, easily sterilized and does not contaminate or flavour the product -- all you taste is the beer. And the kegs are easily refurbished for reuse. Read more about the History of the Beer Keg.
To store wine for long periods without spoilage requires a material that is easy to fabricate, strong and resistant to a highly acidic environment, especially in the vapour space. Types 304 and 316 stainless steels are standard materials for wine tanks.
Cleanliness and hygiene are critical. Stainless steel meat hooks resist attack by meat juices and by the aggressive chemicals used to clean and sterilize them.