The advantages of Stainless Steel grab rails.
About Stainless Steel Grab Rails
Stainless steel is a generic term for alloy steels containing 10.5% or more chromium. The naturally occurring chromium-rich oxide film forms an invisible layer of the surface of the steel and protects against corrosion and oxidation. Stainless steel products also have a long-life cycle and are 100% recyclable.
There are over 150 grades of stainless steel and the selection of a particular "type" and "grade" of stainless steel depends on the application. Con-Serv grab rails are all fabricated from 304, 18/8 stainless steel due to its strength, flexibility, and resistance to corrosion.
304 is the basic chromium-nickel austenitic stainless steel with a minimum of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, combined with a maximum of 0.08% carbon. This grade is easy to form and fabricate, is corrosion resistant making it suitable for a wide range of applications.
304L is the low carbon version of 304. The use of the letter “L” after the grade number means that the carbon content is restricted to a maximum of 0.03%. The lower the level of carbon is usually used where welding is performed and helps to prevent the chromium from being depleted so it can form the oxide layer.
316 offers more corrosion-resistance through the addition of molybdenum. This grade is desirable where the possibility of severe corrosion exists such as marine environments.
316L is the low carbon version of 316.
What does 18/8 mean?
The first number is the amount of chromium that is contained int eh stainless steel, the second number is the amount of nickel. So, 18/8 means that this product contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel and is part of the grade family “300 series” which is non-magnetic.
Care of Stainless Steel
To have an optimum corrosion-resistant stainless steel, surfaces must be cleaned and have an adequate supply of oxygen to maintain their “passive” surface layer. Passive film is invisible in stainless steel. It’s created when oxygen combines with chromium in the stainless to form chromium oxide.
Stainless steel supplied by reputable manufacturers or fabricators will normally be clean and contamination-free. Generally, stubborn stains and dis-coloration corrosion occurs when there is an overall breakdown of the “passive” film due to incorrect cleaning procedures. Rust stains can occur as anything from a slight brown on the surface to severe surface pitting or rusty scour marks on items. Cleanliness and stainless steel are closely related in many applications and each is dependent upon the other. Cleanliness is essential for maximum resistance to corrosion.
Cleaning of Stainless Steel
Alkali cleaners such as baking soda or ammonia are effective to clean stainless steel. Always attempt the mildest cleaning method first. Stainless steels best friends are quite simply soap, mild detergents or ammonia solution in warm water applied with a soft cloth or nylon sponge for polished finishes flowed by a clean water rinse/ Drywipe eliminates the possibility of water stains. Occasionally a nylon scouring pad may be required for satin finishes.
What to avoid
Do not use ordinary steel wool. Iron particles can become embedded in stainless steel and cast iron contamination.
Do not use chlorides or acids as they are reactive to stainless steel. Strong acid solutions like hydrochloric acid or spirits of salts are sometimes used to clean masonry and tiling of new bathrooms ad toilets, but they should NEVER be permitted to come into contact with metals, including Stainless Steel.
Never use brick cleaning liquids that contain hydrochloric acid. Many cleaning solutions and solvents contain chlorinated hydrocarbons. If a cleaner containing chlorides, bleaches, and hypochlorites are used, it must be promptly and thoroughly cleaned off.
Please note: The Con-Serv warranty on grab rails will be null and void should they be exposed to chemical corrosion due to poor cleaning practices.