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Food for Thought - Rapids' Blog
When picking the equipment you will use to keep your kitchen running smoothly, no detail is unimportant. This includes the grade of stainless steel used in the equipment’s design.
Stainless steel’s grade refers to the quality, temperature resistance, and durability of the metal. The most common grades of stainless steel you will run into in a commercial kitchen are 304, 316, 430, and 443. Each has a slightly varied composition that makes them suitable for different environments and usage.
304 series: This austenitic grade is the most common grade found in food preparation equipment, from sinks to cocktail units to ice chests and more. The composition includes chromium and nickel (both of which enhance the corrosion resistance of the steel), as well as carbon and iron. It is not magnetic. This is a solid choice for most kitchen appliances, although if you are going to be working in a high moisture/corrosion/temperature environment, one of the other grades might serve you better.
316 series: 316 is an austenitic grade as well, and is often referred to as the food grade because of its increased anti-corrosion properties. This is due to the addition of molybdenum, which provides fortification against rusting due to chlorides. It is not magnetic either. If you are going to be working with more corrosive foods or will be in a coastal environment, this is the grade for you. It will cost more than the 304 series, but it will hold up for much longer against these types of stressors.
430 series: This magnetic ferritic grade has a minimal amount of nickel, meaning that the corrosion resistance is reduced. This grade is still seen as high quality, although it’s less durable than the austenitic grades. One reason for that may be the higher stress corrosion cracking resistance. It’s okay for use in moderately corrosive environments or for decorative purposes.
443 series: Another magnetic ferritic grade, this alloy includes both chromium and titanium to create a strong corrosion resistance, particularly in regards to moisture and salt. While this grade is less durable than 304 and 316, its corrosion resistance is comparable to 304 and it has increased temperature resistance.
All of our Volition refrigerators and freezers have a 443 grade stainless steel interior and a 430 grade exterior, providing you with peace of mind and long-lasting refrigeration solutions.
Explore all of our stainless steel equipment today and make sure you have the grade that is right for you!