A metal popular in a wide range of industries, from hospitality to industrial production, stainless steel is one of the most versatile materials available today. From the knives and forks we eat with, the floors we walk on and the equipment we work with, it’s flexibility allows it to contribute to almost every aspect of working life. Yet why is it so popular? What makes it the so called ‘hygienic choice’ for commercial workers in 2019.
Stainless steel is commonly described as a self-healing metal, as it can maintain its high levels of structure and usability in a range of challenging environments. It can endure high and low temperatures, wet and dry conditions, and survive shock and abrasion without damage. Its surface coating is scientifically referenced as the ‘passive’ layer, which enables the metal to resist damage from external factors.
The hygiene requirements of stainless steel in the working environment can be intense and demanding, from consumption products such as cutlery and food preparation tools, to medical equipment and production. The materials must be suitable for internal and external use for humans and animals, preventing against harmful bacteria contaminating the user. To be able to do this, the steel must be easy to clean, but also be entirely non-absorbent, ensuring that a surface clean will be enough to remove all bacteria and germs. The metal contains no pores, cracks or open spaces for bacteria, including taste and odour to embed itself in, as it is a self contained piece of material.
This element of stainless steel also helps it to work well in busy, fast paced environments, where deep clean treatments and intense sanitation isn’t always practical. Uniquely designed to let soap and water, a dishwasher cycle or a clean cloth and antibacterial spray clean it effectively helps it to survive in hospitals, restaurants and high pressure factories. This material structure is also seen in the composition of glass and china, which also maintain easy cleaning promises.
Stainless steel is also resistant to most other external factors which may threaten its hygienic state, such as dents, nicks and cuts, making it a sealed and protected surface. It holds its form against fire and water, making it safe to use in a big range of environments where other metals may melt or bend. Its durability also helps to popularise the material from an environmental perspective, as it can re-used a large number of times, lowering the rates of repurchase and repeated production. This means less waste and less fuel used in the production of new materials, helping to protect the environment.
Stainless steel metal products are, without question, the most hygienic options for any industry, and offer almost endless uses due to their easy clean and self-healing surfaces.