Mills are ultra-busy cooking up alternatives to Type 304

May 01, 2008 | 12:24 PM |

It's a small niche market, but with more than a ton of stainless steel in every restaurant kitchen in the nation it's not one to be treated lightly.

Steel producers are paying close attention to the sector, which is driving them to create specialized material. While Type 304 stainless has long been the industry standard for use in commercial kitchens, producers say they've recently started making other grades to sell into that market.

Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI), Pittsburgh, produces material for the food equipment and appliances market from its flat-rolled stainless division. While Dan Greenfield, ATI's vice president of investor relations, declined to quantify the sector because it's "a small part of the business," he did say the company is selling more alternative grades for culinary uses.....

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