What is Stainless Steel?

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What is Stainless Steel?

Walraven explain what Stainless Steel is, where and when to use it

Patented back in 1912, Stainless Steels belong to a family of iron-based alloys and are specifically designed to be placed in highly corrosive environments as well as spaces with high hygiene standards and possible chemical exposure.

Thanks to its high (over 11-12%) chromium content, Stainless Steel has a high corrosion resistance compared to regular carbon steel. Whereas in carbon steel the iron will oxidise, forming brittle rust, the chromium content will protect the Stainless Steel from oxidising. Instead of the steel itself, the chromium will start oxidising, forming a very thin and tight layer of chromium oxides that protects the object from oxygen attacks. Corrosion resistance of Stainless Steel can further be enhanced by adding more nickel

Other metal protection methods such as zinc, phosphate and special painting each have their own mechanism to protect the iron from oxidising. However, that may be less protective and sometimes less attractive as they will continue covering the metallic luster. 

Next to its strength and corrosion resistance, the clean and minimalistic design also make Stainless Steel a popular material to be used in spaces where the metal is more exposed to the eye.

Corrosivity classes

Considering the ratio and presence of different environmental factors explained earlier, such as temperature or humidity, environments are categorised into so-called corrosivity classes depending on the severity of the corrosion factors present.

Classes range from C1, being the environment with almost no corrosive elements to C5, being highly corrosive and CX, referring to extreme corrosivity and applications that require customised support and special care. Depending on the severity of corrosion, Walraven offers different surface protection solutions.

The Walraven offer

Walraven understand the complexity of selecting the right material in corrosive environments. Next to having decades of experience in surface protection, we also have deep expertise in the installation market.

To this end, Walraven offers a complete range of Stainless Steel portfolio suitable for the most typical application areas. We offer a universal A4 graded portfolio covering light and medium-heavy applications, which provides you with the peace of mind you need under the most common circumstances

Ease of installation is the essence of our product design, making installation on the field as safe and fast as possible. Upon request, Walraven also supports with the design and the pre-assembly of the system. If you have questions about the cleaning and maintenance of Stainless Steel or need a solution for a specific environment, please reach out to us.


Resistance to corrosion and staining, low maintenance, and easy cleaning make Stainless Steel an ideal material for many applications. For this reason, the use of Stainless Steel is highly recommended in areas such as food and beverage industry, water treatments plants, pharmaceutical industry and outdoor areas (for example near coastal areas) where there is either a high degree of corrosion exposure present or hygiene requirements are very strict and metals are typically cleaned with aggressive cleaning materials