Stainless Steel Information

Lasertron’s Stainless Steel Specifications
All Our Cabinets Are Constructed with the Highest Quality Steel

High quality stainless steel

Stainless Metallurgy:
Stainless steel is characterized by containing at least 10 percent chromium. There are many grades of stainless steel, but the most common grade used for typical corrosion resistant applications is type 304, also known as 18-8. The term 18-8 refers to the amount of chromium (18%) and nickel (8%) combined with iron and other elements in smaller quantities. If the stainless will be subjected to particularly corrosive environments such as salt-water spray, type 316 stainless steel is typically used. Type 316 stainless steel is very similar to type 304 except that additional nickel is added along with the element molybdenum. Due to the recent price increases in the nickel used in type 304 stainless, an alternative alloy, type 201, is sometimes being offered as an equivalent substitute. Type 201 offers a little less corrosion resistance due to less nickel being used in the process and is somewhat more difficult for fabricators to form certain types of shapes (such as kitchen sinks). Lasertron does not use Type 201 Stainless Steel in any of their products.

The common grades of stainless steel that are available as sheets (as opposed to bars, rods, or tubes) can be specified with a variety of different finishes or textures. Stainless steel sheets with no additional finishing are specified as having a 2B finish. This finish is very smooth and is a dullish gray in appearance. It is normally used in industrial applications where appearance is not the primary consideration. Most appliance manufacturers specify a #4 brushed finish. The #4 refers to the roughness of the surface with categories ranging from #3 (roughest) to #8 (mirror finish). Within each category there is a relatively wide range of roughness that is acceptable. Depending on the steel mill or company putting on the brushed finish, there will be some differences in appearances from sheets of steel bought from different mills or at different times from the same mill. In order to insure consistency of the finish, regardless of the steel mill producing the steel, Lasertron specifies that the brushed finish be applied at a specific company that specializes in applying brushed finishes to stainless steel. This ensures that our doors, drawers, and panels have the same finish, even if the items were made at different mills and at different times. This adds a little to the cost of the steel, but the final product is uncompromising.

Textured finishes are also available. The texture is put on at the steel mill as the last rolling process in the manufacturing of the sheet of steel. We offer 7 different textures plus a smooth non-directional finish. These textures are stocked at our facility and have the same delivery time as our standard brushed finish doors.

Other special finishes are also available. The most popular among our customers is Finger Print Resistant stainless steel. The steel is made to resist finger oils by applying a very thin clear coating at the steel manufacturer. This coating has been tested under conditions that represent typical stains resulting in everyday use in a kitchen. These test results are available elsewhere on our website. Stainless steel can also be painted. Lasertron can provide doors with a wide variety of powder coated paints. Powder coating is a painting technique where the paint is applied as a powder and baked on to form a very hard, durable finish. It can be used outdoors for many years without fading. We can also provide stainless steel that has a wood grain appearance that even an expert would have a difficult time telling it apart from real wood. This coating is also suitable for outdoor use.

Some chemicals will damage the surfaces of stainless steel. Acids or foods that are acidic will stain (etch) the surface of the stainless steel. If this occurs, the steel may have to be refinished to remove the stain. Chlorine is very corrosive and will cause the stainless to oxidize (rust). Do not store chlorine or pool supplies in or near stainless steel products. If any chemical comes in contact with the stainless, rinse it off with water.

Never use an abrasive cleaner on stainless steel. It will act as a polishing agent and change the appearance of the steel in the area it was applied. There are several products on the market which can clean fingerprints from brushed finish stainless. Two of these products can be purchased from Lasertron. There are several products that will leave a somewhat oily film that protects the surface, but changes the appearance (a darkening effect). These products are available at major home stores and food stores.

If the stainless steel has a brushed finish and is scratched, there is a product available the can remove the scratch. This product is available on the Internet at Scratch-B-Gone is not just for scratches, but rust, chemical and heat stains, and even the scorch burns on the top of grill hoods. The kit is approximately $100.