We sometimes get asked if we use other metals, other than 316 grade stainless steel, to manufacture our balustrades.
We don't, and here's why...
What is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is a corrosion-resistant alloy of iron, chromium and, in some cases, nickel and other metals. Completely recyclable, stainless steel is a fantastic “green material” and is widely gaining popularity, as we become more mindful of the 'reusability' of our precious resources. In fact, within the construction sector, its actual recovery rate is close to 100%.
Stainless steel is also environmentally neutral and inert, and its longevity ensures it meets the needs of sustainable construction. Furthermore, it does not leach compounds that could modify its composition when in contact with elements like water. This is one of the many reasons we only use stainless steel for the construction of our balustrades.
Will the metal rust?
With a minimum chromium content of 10.5%, stainless steel is continuously protected by a passive layer of chromium oxide that forms naturally on the surface through the reaction of the chromium with oxygen from air or water. If the surface is scratched, it regenerates itself - pretty nifty, eh?
This, however, does not mean that some stainless steel does not rust and corrode at all. When used near swimming pools or in areas exposed to the salty air in coastal areas, chromium does not always form a protective layer quickly.
316 grade stainless steel (or marine grade), can cope with a harsh environment because its nickel content is slightly higher and the molybdenum content of 2% enhances its corrosion resistance. This is why we only use 316 grade on our balustrades, especially given our proximity to the coast, here in South Devon. We also recommend a mirror polish finish on your balustrades that are within 10 miles of the coast, to further enhance the corrosion resistance.
Even with the worst weather the glorious UK has to offer, come rain or shine, sea-water waves, hail and blizzards, you can rest assured that your stainless steel will remain rust-free and in great condition.
Will it break/bend?
In addition to the environmental benefits, stainless steel is also aesthetically appealing, extremely hygienic, easy to maintain and highly durable. It doesn't warp, bend, crumble, fracture or chip after installation. We're that confident in our steel, that we offer a 10-year warranty on all balustrades manufactured. Can you see why we like it?
To summarise, 316 grade stainless steel is:
Durable and resilient
Little or no maintenance - (more of this please!)
Suitable for coastal locations
If you're thinking what we're thinking, and you like the sound of only using the very best grade stainless steel for your project, get in touch with our team today. Call on 01548 831395 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and see how we can help you.