Features December 2011 Issue

Maintaining Stainless Steel

The marvelous marine metal still requires care.

Stainless steel is exactly what the name says; the steel “stains less.” As PS’s February 2007 special report “Marine Metals Warning,” pointed out, stainless steel is not the maintenance free miracle material many boat owners imagine it to be. Some stainless steel is more stainless than others. With over 500 different grades of stainless steel, only a few meet the mark for use in the corrosive marine environment. Most marine stainless steel is grade 304 or 316. Stainless steels are made up of metals with a blend of iron, chromium, and nickel. Chromium resists corrosion, and nickel resists acids.

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