Stainless steels can also be used in food industry. These products can be characterized by good resistance to various corrosive factors, which fact is very important during food transport and processing. It is to be noticed that there are no unambiguous standards that impose using only stainless steels in this sector of industry. Application of these steels results mostly from a long-term experience and positive opinions. General standards reserve (not impose) that the material in contact with food must meet certain requirements. For example, it is recommended to use food product containers that are resistant to food impact, are in good condition – preclude cracking, flaking, etc. Stainless steel satisfies these conditions perfectly. Moreover, it does not transfer adverse odours, does not affect products taste or colour.
One most notice, that stainless steel is completely safe for human health. There are no adverse and negative impacts on food products, drinks or potable water. High resistance to corrosion and anti-bacterial properties are additional advantages of stainless steel application within food industry. Moreover, surface of this type of steel is easy to clean. Steam cleaning and sterilization is also possible. It is important that stainless steel surfaces do not need painting. This steel grade type is used to make among other things systems in food processing plants, storage tanks, food containers as well as kitchen utensils and everyday use products – e.g. cutlery or pots. Stainless steel can be found in every kitchen.
The most popular steel grade (resistant to corrosion) used in the food industry is 1.4301 (AISI 304). This steel grade is used to produce cutlery and household vessels. Inert chemical character of this steel in contact with food is very important. Steels resistant to corrosion can be used within wide spectrum of temperatures, thus they are perfect for meals preparation processes (freezing, cooking, baking). One must mention that there are over two hundred grades of steels resistant to corrosion. Steels included in this group include at least 10.5% of chromium and maximum 1.2% of carbon.
Resistance to corrosion and rust, low maintenance costs, durability, aesthetic appearance make the stainless steel a perfect material for many applications. There are over 150 stainless steel grades, wherein 15 grades are commonly used. The alloy is used for coils, sheets, bars, sleeves, pipes and other elements used in many sectors, among other things: in chemical, power, railway, shipbuilding sectors, in mechanical plants, construction industry (structural elements), automotive and aviation sector. However, in our everyday life, stainless steel products are most often used in food industry.
Stainless steels can also be applied in building structures, among other things to reinforce walls with concrete. Because concrete is a porous material, it can be used for covering structured of steel resistant to corrosion. In this case, it is important to properly select steel grade for such application. There are specialist corrosion resistant steel grades that are recommended for concrete reinforcement. The most common grades are: EN 1.4301, 1.4429, 1.4462, 1.4436, 1.4501. Austenitic structure steels: 1.4429, 1.4301, 1.4436. Steels 1.4462, 1.4501 can be characterized by ferritic and austenitic structure (duplex). Reinforcement bars are made of the following stainless steel grades: EN 1.4436, 1.4429, 1.4301, 1.4462.