High quality 18/8 and 18/10 stainless steel is naturally inert. The same material used for dairy transport, brewing and various medical uses and applications, it will not impart taste or odors, or leach toxins into its contents - and it’s recyclable. Stainless steel has excellent resistance to stain or rust, is easy to clean, durable and sanitary.
Stainless steel is an iron-containing alloy made from some of the basic elements found on earth: iron ore, chromium, silicon, nickel, carbon, nitrogen and manganese. Properties of the final alloy are tailored by varying amounts of these elements. There are more than 57 stainless steels recognized as standard alloys on the market. High-quality sanitary grade 304 stainless steel, also has a low nickel content. Type 302 is a slightly higher carbon version of type 304. Stainless steel has excellent resistance to stain or rust due to its chromium content making it a material of choice among the food processing, dairy and brewery industries.
18/8 (302) refers to stainless steel with nominally 18% chromium, 8% nickel; 18/10 (304) is 18% chromium, 10% nickel. A higher nickel content gives 18/10 slightly more protection against corrosion, although the difference between the two is negligible.
Nickel is a naturally abundant element found in Earth's crust, soil and ocean floor. It is generally resistant to corrosion and is therefore used to make metal alloys such as stainless steel. Approximately 10-15% of the population is sensitive to nickel. The health effects of nickel are highly dependent on the manner and degree of exposure, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a department of the U.S. Dept. of Public Health and Human Services. The ATSDR warns that environmental exposures may arise from wearing costume jewelry, handling coins or from inhaling dust near nickel industries. The most common reaction to handling nickel is a skin rash at the site of contact. Less frequently, those sensitive to nickel have asthma attacks after inhaling dust containing nickel.
Stainless does not "rust" as you think of regular steel rusting with a red oxide on the surface that flakes off. If you see red rust it is probably due to some iron particles that have contaminated the surface of the stainless steel and it is these iron particles that are rusting. Look at the source of the rusting and see if you can remove it from the surface.
Stainless steel can be recycled into new stainless steel. The typical amount of recycled stainless steel "scrap" that is used to make new stainless steel is between 65 & 80%.
Many cheap stainless steel bottles are 18/0 grade - meaning they contain no nickel. This grade of stainless steel is very cheap to make, and is not as resistant to corrosion from as 18/8 or 18/10.
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