Stainless steel as we know it today has been in existence for around 100 years although the exact person to be credited with ‘inventing’ stainless steel is the subject of much debate. Without delving too deep into this argument, much credit has to go to Monnartz and Borschers; two Germans who made the link between increased chromium content and higher resistance to corrosion.¯¨
What Makes Stainless Steel?
It is this resistance to corrosion that has made stainless steel a very popular material for use in the manufacturing of radiators. To qualify as ‘stainless steel’, this iron-based metal need to contain a minimum of 10.5% chromium, although many grades of stainless steel contain significantly more than this. The chromium forms a thin protective layer that stops oxygen reacting with the steel to cause rust. When combined with other metals like nickel, the steel becomes even more corrosion resistant. Contrary to popular belief however, stainless steel is not completely corrosion-proof, but it’s resistance levels are far higher than other metals and it will only corrode in very extreme circumstances.
Stainless Steel Popular For Radiators
The most popular type of stainless steel used to manufacture radiators is known as 304 (or 18/8) type steel. This contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel, making it highly resistant to corrosion. The stainless steel radiators on our site are made with 304 grade steel, making them incredibly durable – an important feature to note when buying a radiator for your home.
In addition to its anti-corrosive properties, radiators are often made out of stainless steel because of its ease to weld and the fact that it’s 100% recyclable. It is estimated that approximately 65% of all new stainless steel products are made with recycled steel, which makes it a very eco-friendly metal for use in the home. It is also very tolerant of both extremely low and incredibly high temperatures, making it perfect for use in the manufacturing of radiators.
The radiator industry has noted that stainless steel lends itself very well to being customised in terms of colour and finish. Different colours can be achieved by various processes including plating and electrolytic colouring, whereby a thin layer of chrome oxide is applied to get the desired colour. A range of finishes such as criss-crossing and other patterns can be applied to the surface of stainless steel, which has resulted in it being popular with designer radiator manufacturers where aesthetic value is of premium importance.
Low Maintenance Radiators
A fantastic feature of stainless steel is that it actually responds really well to frequent cleaning, a fact not lost on builders of hospitals and laboratories, who favour stainless steel precisely because of this reason. It is not a metal that will decay or break down if cleaned on a regular basis, rather it actually increases its resistance to corrosion. Warm water, a mild detergent and a sponge will be enough to keep your stainless steel radiator shiny and clean, resulting in a radiator that will look new for years to come.
So if you are in the market for a new radiator for your home, then you can be comfortable in the knowledge that stainless steel provides you with a durable, environmentally-friendly and easy-to-maintain option. Trade Radiators has an excellent range of stainless steel radiators at great prices and with next day delivery.
¯¨The radiator featured in the main image is The Chelsea Heated Towel Rail