The various types of stainless steel are commonly defined by the nomenclature AISI (which stands for American Iron and Steel Institute). The AISI notation identifies stainless steel by means of a three-digit abbreviation (sometimes accompanied by a letter indicating another added chemical element).
Let’s take a look at some of the most common.
– AISI 304 stainless steel: used both indoors and outdoors, it should not be laid in contact with chemical agents. It is also defined by the acronyms 18/8 or 18/10 precisely because of the amount of chrome and nickel. AISI 304 is the steel most commonly used for cutlery, hoods, kitchens, bar counters, sinks, tables, chairs, etc…
– AISI 316 stainless steel: Molybdenum is added for additional corrosion resistance. It can also be used in environments with high humidity and salinity. This is why it is used in naval carpentry. It is also used for orthopaedic implant screws and jewellery (it is what some call ‘surgical steel’).
– AISI 430 stainless steel: suitable in environmental conditions that are not too “difficult” and when the aesthetic aspect is not a priority. Also suitable for ‘panels’ in furniture.
– Stainless steel AISI 441: steel with high hygienic properties and good resistance to corrosion. It is competitively priced, thanks to the absence of nickel in its composition, and can therefore be a valid alternative to AISI 304. Particularly suitable for hobs and panelling, as well as for tables and chairs.