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Why Stainless

In areas where corrosion is a concern, stainless steel is often the choice. Stainless steel has a much greater resistance to rust and corrosion than standard carbon steels and greater resistance than coated steels such as zinc-coated or galvanized. The life of stainless steel in a corrosive environment can be 10 to 20 times, or more, longer than carbon steels or iron.

This enhanced corrosion resistance is due to the addition of certain elements. The term “stainless steel” is typically used to describe steel which has chromium added. The 300 series stainless also has the addition of nickel and, in the case of 316 SS, the addition of molybdenum. The addition of these elements is also the reason that stainless steel costs more.

Over the past few years, these elements have fluctuated in the following ranges:
Chromium $ .60 - $2.00/lb.
Nickel $7.50 - $12.00/lb.
Molybdenum $25.00 - $38.00/lb.

It is easy to see how the addition of these elements drives up the initial cost.

Total cost of a product, however, must take into consideration the life of a product. While stainless steel products may cost more initially, the long life and the savings over reinstallation of inferior products may make stainless steel cost far less. Reinstallation costs become an even greater concern in hazardous or dangerous locations where accessibility is a problem.

Aside from its corrosion resistance, stainless steel has an aesthetic appeal as well. Gibson Stainless products are provided in a bright, polished finish and do not require any maintenance such as touch up or painting. This bright, polished finish can remain intact for a long period of time.

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  NEMRA - The National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association

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