General Information Stainless Steel Sheet

Metal Sheets Ltd are suppliers and fabricators of stainless steel sheets, we carry stock of popular sizes and thickness’ which we also use to manufacture our products. This page gives general information on stainless steel sheet grades and finishes.

The grades and surface finish of stainless sheet is very varied, the basic sheet from the mill where the sheet is produced generally has a plain grey appearance which is designated 2B. This is the starting point from which all the other finishes begin.

Embossed patterns are generally rolled into the sheet, this is called rigidised stainless steel. Mirror finishes are achieved by either a mechanical or chemical process. Brushed finish is a mechanical process.

Both Mirror and brushed finished are referred to in the trade as Polishes.

The finish referred to as “Brushed Finish” has a trade reference “DP” which means “Dull Polish”. This finish is achieved using grit in the polishing media. Variations in the brush effect are obtained by using grits of different sizes.

Metal Sheets Ltd normally stocks 240 grit finish.This finish is popular for domestic and commercial kitchen backsplashes, (Splash Backs), and display equipment.
Super bright is commonly called mirror finish but Metal Sheets Ltd stocks stocks a special product called Super Mirror, a much superior product.

There is a vast range of stainless steel grades for all sorts of special purposes, Metal Sheets Ltd stocks the most commonly used grades.

Grade 430 stainless steel has moderate corrosion resistance and is generally used for indoor applications. It is an economy grade. Typical uses are back splashes, display shelving, wall cladding and magnet notice boards, equipment cladding, domestic ware

Grade 304 stainless steel is the old 18/8 stainless and the most widely used grade of stainless. It has excellent corrosion resistance. Typical uses are table tops, counters, kitchen wall cladding, point of sale catering displays, brewery, water and dairy equipment, signage and building cladding.

Grade 316 stainless steel is more corrosion resistant than 304 and is suitable for more arduous environments like marine and coastal. Typical uses are catering equipment for corrosive foods, (e.g. meat/blood, foods with moderate salt content) where frequent cleaning takes place, pharmaceutical,

Grades of stainless steel higher than 316 available for use in more corrosive environments such as hot brine, salty and slow moving foods.

Stainless Steel Grades Cross Reference and Typical Composition

AISI BS EN Composition Cr / Ni / C
430 430S17 1.4016 17 / 0 / 0.08
304 304S31 1.4301 18 / 8 / 0.07
316 316S31 1.4401 17 / 11 / 0.07
316L 316S11 1.4404 17 / 11 / 0.03