Grade 304, also called 18/8, and 316 are common stainless steel used for kitchen purposes. Stainless steel is a popular choice for kitchen use because it is easy to clean, corrosion resistant and hard.
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Stainless steel is made by adding chromium and nickel to steel. This makes it hard and resistant to corrosion. These properties make it a good choice for kitchen and restaurant uses.
Grades 304 and 18/8 are the same material. They are part of a group composed of at least 16 per cent chromium and 6 per cent nickel. This grade of stainless steel may also have other elements added. The 316 grade of stainless steel belongs in the 304 group. Its composition is 16 per cent chromium, 10 per cent nickel and 2 per cent molybdenum.
Stainless Steel Sheets
Gauge is the term that defines sheet thickness. The system works in reverse, such that the bigger grade number means the thinner sheet of metal. For example, 12, 14, 16 and 18 are common gauges for kitchen use. A gauge 12 is 0.105 inches thick and 18 gauge is 0.048 inches thick.
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