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Stainless Steel In Food Processing

Materials for beverage, dairy and food preparation, processing and storage are required to maintain the integrity of the structure (i.e. to be corrosion resistant and sufficiently robust to withstand their service environment) and to be inert (i.e. to impart neither colour nor flavour to foodstuffs or beverages). Stainless steels are widely used in these applications because they are resistant to corrosion, inert, easily cleaned and sterilised without loss of properties, and can be readily fabricated by a variety of techniques.

Materials for beverage, dairy and food preparation, processing and storage are selected on the basis of their resistance to corrosion in a specific service environment and, where appropriate, operation of the plant (whether continuous or batch operation with plant shutdowns) must also be considered. In practice, varieties of austenitic & ferritic stainless steels are used. Nevertheless, martensitic and duplex stainless steels are also used in beverage, dairy and food contact applications.

Typical applications for stainless steels in beverage, dairy and food plant and equipment are shown in the table below.

Beverage/Dairy and Food Preparation, Processing and Storage – Applications, Grades and Human Exposure
Application/Use Typical SS Grades
Cutlery 1.4301 (AISI 304)
1.4307 (AISI 304L)
1.4307 (AISI 304L)
1.4016 (AISI 430)
Cooking utensils, cooks knives, professional knives 1.4301 (AISI 304)
1.4021 (AISI 420)
JSL-U SD
JSL-U DD
J4
Krome 16+
204 Cu
1.4016 (AISI 430)
Cooking, processing and storage tanks & vessels, pumps, pipelines and tubes, taps and valves 1.4301 (AISI 304)
1.4307 (AISI 304L)
1.4541 (AISI 321)
1.4401 (AISI 316)
1.4404 (AISI 316L)
1.4571 (AISI 316Ti)
1.4547 (ASTM S31254)[254 SMO]
1.4362 (ASTM S32034)[2304]
1.4462 (ASTM S31803)[2205]
1.4410 (ASTM S32750)[2507]
Boilers and steam heaters 1.4401 (AISI 316)
1.4404 (AISI 316L)
1.4571 (AISI 316Ti)
1.4547 (ASTM S31254)[254 SMO]
1.4362 (ASTM S32034)[2304]
1.4462 (ASTM S31803)[2205]
1.4410 (ASTM S32750)[2507]
Hot water tanks 1.4401 (AISI 316)
1.4404 (AISI 316L)
1.4571 (AISI 316Ti)
1.4520
1.4521
Cookers, heaters, ovens – internal panels, burners, conveyors, grills, shelves and baking trays 1.4301 (AISI 304)
1.4307 (AISI 304L)
1.4541 (AISI 321)
1.4401 (AISI 316)
1.4404 (AISI 316L)
1.4818 (ASTM S30415)[153 MA]
1.4835 (ASTM S30815)[253 MA]
1.4845 (AISI 310)
Trim (external) for domestic cookers and ovens 1.4301 (AISI 304)
1.4307 (AISI 304L)
1.4016 (AISI 430)
Beer kegs 1.4301 (AISI 304)
1.4307 (AISI 304L)
Wine storage vats, pipelines, pumps and valves 1.4305 (AISI 303)*
1.4301 (AISI 304)
1.4307 (AISI 304L)
1.4401 (AISI 316)
1.4404 (AISI 316L)
Saucepans, kettles, confectionery moulds 1.4301 (AISI 304)
1.4307 (AISI 304L)
1.4016 (AISI 430)