An Applicable Material: All the Basics about Stainless Steel

Stainless steel can last hundreds of years longer than most metals. It was the last material used to make swords, the one that would outlast the blow of the coming gunpowder era and be used in the trenches of World War I to make bayonets.

It can be formed by heat and shaped into various shapes and sizes. Even the stainless steel kitchen knives found in most kitchen drawers to this day are a testament to steel’s durability.

It is also defined as an alloy that contains at least 10.5 percent chromium and is capable of resisting corrosion. While most steel contains carbon, stainless steel also has a high amount of chromium and may or may not include other elements such as molybdenum, manganese, nickel, and silicon.

Layers of it can be applied to almost all kinds of surfaces and parts like stainless steel locks, stainless steel tub doors, stainless steel sinks, and many other components used in applications where its non-corrosive nature is needed. Its usage can fit a wide range of functions, depending on three key properties.

Selecting the Best Stainless Steel

When searching for stainless steel parts, three essential things should be observed before making a purchase. The first concern is the appearance of the stainless steel. They can be manufactured in many different finishes, but brushed stainless steel and polished stainless steel are the most common types. Brushed stainless steel can be found in a wide array of finishes, from shiny to dull and from bright to dark.

The brushed look is a popular style due to its durability and ease of cleaning. It can be found in a wide array of applications, from automobile parts to bathroom fixtures. The brushed stainless steel is best for applications that do not require a shiny finished appearance.

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Polished stainless steel is a mirror-like finish applied over a brushed surface. It is commonly found on appliance covers as it is the most popular stainless steel style.

The second consideration when choosing stainless steel is the thickness of the material. The thickness of the material should be directly proportional to the part that is being fabricated out of the material. 

When purchasing a gun safe or refrigerator, it is unnecessary to go with a higher gauge thickness of stainless steel. However, when purchasing kitchen countertops, toilet tank lids, or bath faucets, the thickness should be higher to ensure that the product’s appearance is desirable.

The final consideration when choosing stainless steel is the hardness of the material. Stainless steel is commonly manufactured with a hardness of 18 to 30 on the Rockwell scale. The lower number represents harder material, and the higher number represents softer material. The more rigid material may be beneficial in applications where the material’s durability is needed.


Overall, if you are purchasing stainless steel, you should always inquire about its quality. Many manufacturers may have standards that they strictly follow, but these benchmarks may not always be adequate. It is always best to purchase stainless steel that exceeds their criteria, for the most part.

Indeed, the world of appliances, automobiles, and building structures would be way different without the existence of stainless steel. Its significance can’t be overlooked due to its durability, quality, and tendency to last for a lifetime.

With all of that being said, if you are looking for a reliable steel distributor in Nashville, TN, look no further than our services here at KGS Steel Nashville. We are a full-line structural steel and carbon steel service center warehouse servicing the southeastern United States since 1985. Call us today and let us discuss about your needs and future orders of stainless steel.

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