Properties of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel cookware and bakeware is exceptionally durable. Once stainless steel has been stamped, spun or formed into utensil shape, it takes an extremely hard blow to dent it. Its attractive finish won't corrode or tarnish permanently, and its hard, tough, nonporous surface is resistant to wear. Extremely smooth and scratch resistant, stainless steel utensils take an excellent polish.

Top-of-the-range cookware, bakeware, pantryware, tools and other equipment are frequently produced in stainless steel, which eases the work of homemakers.

Like other steels, stainless steel is an alloy-a combination of iron and other metals. What makes it different from other steels, however, is that it contains at least 11 percent chromium. It is chromium that makes steel "stainless" all the way through.

Stainless steel may also contain other elements, such as nickel, molybdenum, columbium or titanium. These materials can contribute special hardness, high temperature resistance, and resistance to scratching and corrosion to the finished stainless steel alloy.

Sometimes you'll hear a shorthand way of describing stainless steel, such as "18/10" or "18/8". The first figure indicates the percentage of chromium contained within the stainless. The second number is the percentage of nickel. Nickel is an alloying element used in steel to increase its ductility, or its ability to be formed. Both of these elements are very expensive compared to regular steel, hence the higher costs of stainless steel.

Manufacturing

Stainless steel bakeware utensils are usually fabricated of solid stainless steel. On the other hand, top-of-range stainless steel utensils are generally made by combining stainless with other metals, usually aluminum, copper or carbon steel. The other metals improve the utensil's heat conductivity. Various manufacturing processes are used to combine stainless steel with these other metals. The resulting combinations are described as two-ply, three ply, threeply/ bottom clad, five/ply bottom clad and five-ply, seven-ply and even nine-ply, depending on the manufacturer and the desired characteristics of the cookware.

Two-ply utensils commonly have a stainless steel interior with another metal on the exterior. In a few instances, this arrangement is reversed with the stainless steel on the outside and a non-stick surface applied to the interior.

Three-ply utensils have stainless steel on both the inside and outside surfaces with a layer of copper, carbon steel or aluminum forming the core.

Bottom clad utensils are formed with solid stainless or three-ply, and copper is plated to the bottom or aluminum is applied to the bottom by casting, bonding or metal spraying. Five-ply/bottom clad utensils are made by the three-ply process, with two clad layers on the bottom. Five-ply utensils are made with stainless steel on both the inside and outside surfaces with three layers of aluminum or other metals forming the core. In the actual manufacture of stainless steel utensils, the metal's versatility permits it to be formed into a wide variety of attractive and functional shapes, limited only by the imagination of the designer or the desires of the consumer.

Finishes

Appearance is an important consideration in the selection of cooking utensils. A choice of high polish or satin finish is normally available on stainless steel ware. Either of these attractive finishes blends well with all colors and periods of kitchen décor. Also, to meet decorator demand for color in cookware, manufacturers are producing cookware with porcelain enamel exteriors on stainless steel. But the cooking surface is most often stainless steel, where ease of cleaning and protection of food quality are most important. There are some stainless steel utensils with nonstick interiors. The preparation of stainless steel for nonstick finishes is a complicated process, due to the hardness of the steel and its very smooth finish. Additionally, it takes more time and energy to cure the nonstick finish in stainless steel due to its less-conductive nature.

Use and Care

Before using a new stainless steel utensil, wash the utensil thoroughly in hot sudsy water to remove any manufacturing oils and polishing compounds. Stainless steel is one of the easiest materials to clean and to keep clean. Washing by hand in hot sudsy water or in a dishwasher usually is the only requirement for keeping stainless utensils bright and shiny. Prompt drying will prevent water spots.

To remove burned-on foods, soak and wash in hot sudsy water. Light scouring with a non-abrasive household cleaner and a nylon scouring pad or a commercial stainless steel cleaner will removed stubborn burns on the interior surfaces. High heat may cause a mottled, rainbow-like discoloration commonly called "heat tint". Cooking certain starchy foods-such as rice, potatoes or peas-may cause a stain on the inside of the pan. Both of these can be removed easily with any one of a number of readily available stainless steel cleaners. Undissolved salt will "pit" steel surfaces. Consumers should add salt to liquid after it reaches the boiling point and stir to dissolve completely. Do not allow acid or salty foods to remain in stainless steel for long periods of time.

With normal use, a stainless steel utensil will not dent, warp or chip. It thrives on exposure to air, so it is an attractive utensil to display in the kitchen.
 
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Properties of Stainless Steel

Properties of Stainless SteelStainless steel cookware and bakeware is exceptionally durable. Once stainless steel has been stamped, spun or formed into utensil shape, it takes an extremely hard blow to dent it. Its attractive finish won't corrode or tarnish permanently, and its hard, tough, nonporous surface is resistant to wear. Extremely smooth and scratch resistant, stainless steel utensils take an excellent polish.

Top-of-the-range cookware, bakeware, pantryware, tools and other equipment are frequently produced in stainless steel, which eases the work of homemakers.

Like other steels, stainless steel is an alloy-a combination of iron and other metals. What makes it different from other steels, however, is that it contains at least 11 percent chromium. It is chromium that makes steel "stainless" all the way through.

Stainless steel may also contain other elements, such as nickel, molybdenum, columbium or titanium. These materials can contribute special hardness, high temperature resistance, and resistance to scratching and corrosion to the finished stainless steel alloy.

Sometimes you'll hear a shorthand way of describing stainless steel, such as "18/10" or "18/8". The first figure indicates the percentage of chromium contained within the stainless. The second number is the percentage of nickel. Nickel is an alloying element used in steel to increase its ductility, or its ability to be formed. Both of these elements are very expensive compared to regular steel, hence the higher costs of stainless steel.

Stainless steels have Nickel and Chrome, with a low content of carbon (0.08%) as main alloying elements, and are classified accordingly to ASTM in the 3XX series:

% Cr % Ni ASTM UNI
18 8 304, 316 X8CN1910, X3CN1911
18 10 321, 347, 348 X8CNT1810, X8CNNb1811
18 13 317 X8CND1712
23 12 309

25 20 310 X8CN2520

Manufacturing

Stainless steel bakeware utensils are usually fabricated of solid stainless steel. On the other hand, top-of-range stainless steel utensils are generally made by combining stainless with other metals, usually aluminum, copper or carbon steel. (See Properties of Steel section)

The other metals improve the utensil's heat conductivity. Various manufacturing processes are used to combine stainless steel with these other metals. The resulting combinations are described as two-ply, three ply, three ply bottom clad, five ply bottom clad and five-ply, seven-ply and even nine-ply, depending on the manufacturer and the desired characteristics of the cookware.

Two-ply and Three-ply UtensilsTwo-ply utensils commonly have a stainless steel interior with another metal on the exterior. In a few instances, this arrangement is reversed with the stainless steel on the outside and a non-stick surface applied to the interior.

Three-ply utensils have stainless steel on both the inside and outside surfaces with a layer of copper, carbon steel or aluminum forming the core.

Bottom clad utensils are formed with solid stainless or three-ply, and copper is plated to the bottom or aluminum is applied to the bottom by casting, bonding or metal spraying. Five-ply/bottom clad utensils are made by the three-ply process, with two clad layers on the bottom. Five-ply utensils are made with stainless steel on both the inside and outside surfaces with three layers of aluminum or other metals forming the core. In the actual manufacture of stainless steel utensils, the metal's versatility permits it to be formed into a wide variety of attractive and functional shapes, limited only by the imagination of the designer or the desires of the consumer.

Finishes

Appearance is an important consideration in the selection of cooking utensils. A choice of high polish or satin finish is normally available on stainless steel ware. Either of these attractive finishes blends well with all colors and periods of kitchen décor. Also, to meet decorator demand for color in cookware, manufacturers are producing cookware with porcelain enamel exteriors on stainless steel. But the cooking surface is most often stainless steel, where ease of cleaning and protection of food quality are most important. There are some stainless steel utensils with nonstick interiors. The preparation of stainless steel for nonstick finishes is a complicated process, due to the hardness of the steel and its very smooth finish. Additionally, it takes more time and energy to cure the nonstick finish in stainless steel due to its less-conductive nature.

Use and Care

Before using a new stainless steel utensil, wash the utensil thoroughly in hot sudsy water to remove any manufacturing oils and polishing compounds. Stainless steel is one of the easiest materials to clean and to keep clean. Washing by hand in hot sudsy water or in a dishwasher usually is the only requirement for keeping stainless utensils bright and shiny. Prompt drying will prevent water spots.

Use and CareTo remove burned-on foods, soak and wash in hot sudsy water. Light scouring with a non-abrasive household cleaner and a nylon scouring pad or a commercial stainless steel cleaner will removed stubborn burns on the interior surfaces. High heat may cause a mottled, rainbow-like discoloration commonly called "heat tint". Cooking certain starchy foods-such as rice, potatoes or peas-may cause a stain on the inside of the pan. Both of these can be removed easily with any one of a number of readily available stainless steel cleaners. Undissolved salt will "pit" steel surfaces. Consumers should add salt to liquid after it reaches the boiling point and stir to dissolve completely. Do not allow acid or salty foods to remain in stainless steel for long periods of time.

With normal use, a stainless steel utensil will not dent, warp or chip. It thrives on exposure to air, so it is an attractive utensil to display in the kitchen.

 

 

 
 
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