Type 304, 316 or 2101, the recipe calls for stainless

Feb 24, 2009 | 05:56 AM |

When clean is what you need, stainless steel outshines most other metals, with its hygienic characteristics making it an ideal choice for extensive use in commercial food manufacturing plants. But a closer look shows competition could be emerging from within.

"Whether it's soft drinks or soy products or corn products—anywhere you need hygiene—stainless is used because stainless cleans so well," Dan Greenfield, director of investor relations and corporate communications at Allegheny Technology Inc. (ATI), Pittsburgh, said.

Traditionally, stainless types 304 and 316 go into the cooking vats, mixers and ovens in plants across North America that process food. Producers haven't heard of other materials taking market share from stainless, but the customary types are being challenged by a newer, but still stainless, material lean duplex grade 2101 produced by Outokumpu Stainless Inc., Schaumburg, Ill.

"We have seen some usage changeover and we've seen a lot of interest, and we're encouraged that we'll see pretty fair growth in the use of lean duplex in the future," said Chuck Turack, Outokumpu Stainless' vice president and general manager of group sales and marketing for North America. "But as in any new alloy in an application, acceptance is a slow process."....





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