Hygiene a priority for food production
Hygiene is a top priority at a facility which processes more than 40,000 tonnes of chicken a day, so it is not hard to imagine the scale of stainless steel fabrication needed to meet that expectation.

drainASSDA member and Accredited Fabricator Stainless Metal Craft has recently completed work on the design and fabrication of stainless steel equipment for Inghams Enterprises’ processing plant at Edinburgh Park, north of Adelaide, and hatchery at Monarto, south of Adelaide.

The projects incorporate numerous custom-designed installations, including a series of 300mm wide channelled drainage at the processing plant in runs of 60m that will withstand the weight of forklifts, and slot drains with integrated sumps (Figure 1) at the hatchery that will tolerate extremely harsh cleaning compounds.

Stainless Metal Craft General Manager Graeme Bunt said the slot drains, in particular, were a specialised project requiring innovative tool work, because of the size and depth required.

He said the slot drains were fabricated at their facility at Emu Plains, NSW, then shipped to Adelaide in 8m lengths where they were site welded to form continuous drains of 44m.

Mr Bunt said grades 304 and 316 were both used at the facilities, depending on the application.

“For most of the general usage areas, such as laundry chutes, bump rails, hand rails, hands-free wash stations, walk-through showers and chequer plate platforms and stairs, we were able to use 304,” Mr Bunt said.

“But in more specialised areas or where harsh chemicals may be used, such as slot drains, some clean points, freezer coving, boot washers and fire hose reel cabinets, we had to use 316 to ensure the material would withstand the harsh environment.”

Mr Bunt said freezer coving (a hygiene requirement to prevent food from being caught where the wall meets the floor) is usually made from epoxy-coated concrete, but there was concern this would wear down with ongoing snap freezing of the chickens. Instead, about 180m of 3mm grade 316 were used.

Strict regulations within the food industry also determined the need for grade 316 stainless steel fire hose reel cabinets.

Mr Bunt said most of the stainless steel was supplied by ASSDA members Atlas Specialty Metals and Midway Metals. The processing plant was handed over to Inghams at the end of September and the hatchery will also be handed over this year.


Further Processing Plant
•    55 hands-free wash stations
•    80 clean points
•    180 metres of freezer coving
•    12 boot washers
•    18 fire hose reel cabinets
•    300mm wide channelled drainage in runs of 60 metres – strong enough to withstand weight of forklifts

•    495 metres of slot drains
•    10 hands-free wash stations
•    800 metres of Schedule 40 pipe bump rails
•    45 clean points
•    7.7 square metre egg shell hopper

This article featured in Australian Stainless Issue 41

Alternative stainless steel grades - Part 2

This article is the second of a two-part series outlining new and emerging stainless steel grades which may be considered as alternatives to the more traditional and widely known varieties. Read Part 1.

The growing demand from China and the rest of the developing world has driven up the price of alloying elements added to stainless steels.  Over the last five years nickel prices have risen to ten times what they were.

Chromium and molybdenum have also risen strongly, and the price of stainless steel scrap – which steelmakers use extensively – has soared.  Inevitably, stainless steels have also seen large price increases, with little relief in sight. Growing demand and the time required to develop new supply sources mean that nickel and other alloy prices are unlikely to drop to the levels seen a few years ago.

Higher prices are driving stainless steel users to seek more cost effective solutions:  the optimum choice of grade is a blend of engineering and economic factors, and the choice may be different in a new cost environment.  The most common stainless steel grade, 304, is used in about 60% of applications for stainless steel around the world.  Grade 304 contains about 8% of nickel, which is used to form the ductile austenite crystal structure.  Grade 316, with 10% of nickel and higher corrosion resistance given by an addition of 2% molybdenum, is also very common.  It is used in marine environments.  Users are seeking more cost effective alternatives to both these austenitic 300 series grades.

Austenitic 200 series, duplex stainless steels and ferritic grades can all be used instead of 304 and 316, if they are selected, designed, fabricated and used appropriately.  This article and the next in the series describe the alternatives to the more traditional grades, with their abilities and limitations.
The alloying elements in stainless steel contributing most to corrosion resistance are chromium and molybdenum.  Within each of the alternative groups there are grades with different corrosion resistance resulting from the chromium and molybdenum contents.

The well known austenitic 300 series grades contain the highest levels of nickel.  The austenitic 200 series grades contain less nickel, and manganese is added to make the austenite crystal structure form.  Because the 200 series grades have the austenitic crystal structure their mechanical and fabrication properties are similar to the familiar 300 series.

Ferritic grades have the same crystal structure as carbon steel, and have similar mechanical and fabrication properties and do not contain a nickel addition.
Duplex grades are not fully austenitic.  They are formulated to be a mixture of equal amounts of austenitic and ferritic grains in the microstructure, which generally means the nickel content is about half of that in an austenitic grade of the same chromium content.

Austenitic 200 Series

These grades are austenitic despite their lower nickel because they have more manganese.  Manganese is about half as effective in forming austenite as nickel, so for every 1% of nickel left out, about 2% of manganese has to be added – at the same level of chromium, which suppresses the formation of austenite. Half the nickel in these grades has been replaced by manganese and the price of manganese is also rising strongly.

First developed in the 1930s, most of the common 200 series grades have corrosion resistance similar to the ferritic grade 430, lower than grade 304, because the chromium content is lower.  Newer Indian developments (grades J1 & J4 in the table) have centered on grades with significantly lower corrosion resistance. There are other proprietary 200 series grades with higher chromium contents used in marine and anti–galling applications.

The austenitic 200 series are the closest in behaviour to the 300 series of the alternative groups.  Hence they are the easiest to convert to.

Mechanical and Physical Properties

The tensile strength of common 200 grades exceeds 600MPa, i.e. about 20% higher than 304.  The 0.2% proof stress is more than 20% greater than that of 304 but the elongation at fracture is similar.  In contrast with carbon steel, all the austenitic stainless steel grades have tensile strengths at least double the 0.2% proof stress, a consequence of their high rate of work hardening.  Some newer grades include copper to reduce this.  Because of the austenitic microstructure of annealed 200 series grades they are ductile down to cryogenic temperatures and do not suffer brittle fracture. In comparison with the physical properties of 304, the 200 series have very similar density, elastic modulus, electrical and thermal properties.

Some 200 series grades in comparison to 304


Carbon    (max)

Manganese  Chromium  Nickel  


201 16/4 0.15 5.5-7.5 16.0-18.0 3.5-5.5 -
202 17/4 0.15 7.5-10.0 17.0-19.0 4.0-6.0 -
J1 15/4 0.08 7.0-8.0 15.0-17.0 4.0-4.5 1.5-2.0
J4 15/1 0.10 8.5-10.0 15.0-17.0 0.8-12 1.5-2.0
304 18/8 0.07 17.5-19.5 17.5-19.5 8.0-10.5 -








The ductility and formability are similar to the 300 grades although the lower nickel gives a greater risk of delayed cracking after heavy cold forming.  Welding is similar to the 300 series grades although the 200 grades may have higher carbon and may suffer sensitisation (loss of intergranular corrosion resistance) if welded in sections thicker than 5 mm.  Stress corrosion cracking resistance is similar to the 300 series.  Like 304 and 316, 200 series grades do not respond to a magnet when in the annealed condition, but become magnetic after cold work.


The lower chromium levels mean that the 15% chromium grades have lower corrosion resistance than ferritic grade 430.  Even the 16 & 17% chromium grades are somewhat inferior to 304 in corrosion resistance, since it appears that a 200 series grade has slightly less corrosion resistance than a 300 series grade with the same chromium level.  This may be due to the high levels of sulphur present in 200 series grades from some sources.

Steelmakers do not want 200 series scrap mixed with 300 series scrap as the high manganese levels reduce the life of steelmaking refractories.  Batches of 300 series scrap suspected of being contaminated with 200 series are likely to attract only the much lower 200 series scrap price.  Hence strict segregation of off – cuts is required.

At present none of the 200 series grades are routinely stocked in Australia.


As with all grade groups, it is important to choose a grade with corrosion resistance adequate for the application.  The lower chromium 200 series greades detailed in the table are generally suitable for use with mild acids and alkalis including most foods (pH not less than 3).  They are satisfactory with 20˚C potable water and are suitable for indoor exposure – furniture, bins, etc.  They are used extensively for cookware and serving bowls – applications where the corrosion conditions are not severe since the utensils are washed and dried.  The formability and deep drawability of the 200 series are especially useful for these applications.

The growing demand from China and the rest of the developing world has driven up the price of the alloying elements in stainless steels.  The relative cost of different grade groups of stainless steels has also changed, depending on the content of the more expensive alloying elements, particularly nickel and molybdenum.

In the last issue we described the austenitic 200 series group, one of the alternative groups to the austenitic 300 series that traditionally dominate the market.  This article describes the other two alternative groups, ferritic and duplex grades.


These stainless steels have the ferritic structure also found in carbon steels.  They do not contain the nickel addition used to stabilise austenite in 300 series grades.  The quality of ferritic grades has advanced with modern steelmaking equipment and, after several generations of ferritic grades, a number of technical limitations have been overcome.

Toughness is the remaining limitation that has not been overcome.  All ferritic grades show the ductile to brittle fracture transition well known from carbon steels.  Unlike the carbon steels, there is no phase transformation when heated during welding, and hence the grain size of the HAZ can be high.  This limits the toughness of the ferritic stainless steels, and with a few exceptions they are used at up to about 3mm thickness, where the toughness transition temperature after welding is adequate.

There are ferritic grades with 10.5-30% chromium, and many also contain molybdenum.  The ferritic grades have the corrosion resistance their chromium and molybdenum contents give them, and in addition they are very resistant to stress corrosion cracking.  Later generations of ferritics are not susceptible to sensitisation and intergranular corrosion.

The ease of fabrication of ferritic grades, which behave in a similar way to carbon steel, has seen them used to replace competing materials and grow the market for stainless steels.  A recent publication of the International Stainless Steel Forum “The Ferritic Solution – The Essential Guide To Ferritic Stainless Steels” (available from ASSDA) has several examples.

Grade Cr Mo N Ni C Mn Other PRE*
AUSTENITIC 300 SERIES                
304 18.1     8.1 0.04     18
316 17.2 2.1   10.2 0.04     24
FERRITIC 400 SERIES                
409 11.5       0.02   0.18Ti 12
430 16.5       0.04     17
AWM 404GP™ 21.0       0.010   0.4Cu, 0.3Ti 21
444 17.7 1.8     0.02   0.45(Ti+Nb) 24
AWM 445M2™ 22.1 1.05     0.007   0.20Ti, 0.20Nb 26
LDX 2101® 21.5 0.3 0.22 1.5 0.03 5.0   29
SAF 2304® 23.0 0.3 0.10 4.8 0.02     27
2205 22.0 3.1 0.17 5.7 0.02   0.15N 37
SAF 2507® 25.0 4.0 0.27 7.0 0.02   0.3N 46

*Pitting Resistance Equivalent (PRE) = %Cr + 3.3x%Mo + 16x%N

Mechanical and Physical Properties

Yield strength is a little higher than that of the austenitic grades, and tensile strength a little lower.  Ductility is about half that of the austenitics, and is similar to carbon steel.

Ferritic grades cannot be strengthened by heat treatment, and since their work hardening is weak they are rarely strengthened by cold work.  Ferritic stainless steel work hardens in a similar way to carbon steel, which can be an advantage, particularly in fabrication where experience and settings gained with carbon steel can be applied to ferritic stainless steels with few modifications.

Ferritic grades are ferromagnetic, and have much lower thermal expansion and higher heat conductivity than austenitic grades.


First generation ferritic stainless steels are usually used unwelded, as they have high carbon (~0.05%), which causes the formation of brittle films of low corrosion resistance on HAZ grain boundaries.  Grade 430 is the most widely used of this group: it has enough corrosion resistance for indoor applications such as food preparation and display equipment, but is rarely fusion welded.  Grade 430 is usually used with a bright annealed (BA) finish: finishes in ferritic grades are generally brighter than their austenitic equivalent.  Large amounts of first generation ferritic grades, with molybdenum added for extra corrosion resistance, are used for automotive trim.

Second generation ferritic stainless steels have lower levels of carbon and nitrogen, and have titanium and/or niobium added to combine with what’s left.  This makes the grades more weldable, and the first second generation ferritic grade developed, 409, is now widely used in automotive muffler systems.  The current production of 409 in USA rivals the tonnage of the most popular stainless steel, 304.  Welds in second generation grades are tough at room temperature up to about 2mm thickness, and do not suffer from sensitisation or stress corrosion cracking.  There are titanium treated versions of 430, widely used in whitegoods such as welded washing machine drums.

Third generation ferritic grades have even lower carbon, nitrogen, titanium and/or niobium additions, with higher contents of the corrosion-resisting elements chromium and molybdenum.  The most common grade of the group, 444, is used for challenging applications such as heat exchangers and hot water tanks.

Fourth, or new generation grades, are further refined using vacuum equipment to achieve better toughness and weldability, and better surface quality.  They are often used in applications where austenitic grades fail by chloride stress corrosion cracking or pitting corrosion, and they are increasingly being used in many applications to replace the common austenitic grades.


The limited toughness of ferritic grades has been noted, and they are rarely used in structural applications.

A further limitation is the tendency of ferritic stainless grades to suffer 475°C embrittlement and phase formation more quickly than austenitic grades, which limits their use to about 350°C in the higher chromium grades.  However, large tonnages of the lower chromium grades are used in automotive muffler systems at higher temperatures without problems.


The largest tonnage of ferritic grades is used in automotive muffler systems, and there are also significant uses in automotive trim, commercial catering equipment and indoor decorative applications.  The higher alloyed later generation grades give outstanding performance in heat exchanger and piping systems for chloride-containing aqueous solutions and seawater, where stress corrosion cracking of austenitic grades can be a problem.  The ferritics are also ideally suited for roll forming to roofing, walling and rainwater goods.


These grades consist of an intimate mixture of about equal amounts of austenite and ferrite.  About half of the amount of nickel needed to be fully austenitic at the chromium content is added in most of the grades.  A newer grade, LDX 2101, follows the approach of the 200 series austenitics by using manganese instead of most of the nickel.

There are grades within the duplex group with a range of different corrosion resistances, depending on the chromium and molybdenum contents.  The duplex grades tend to use more chromium and less molybdenum than an austenitic grade of similar corrosion resistance - a more economical balance.

As chromium is increased in the austenitic 300 grades to improve corrosion resistance, more nickel must be added, making high chromium austenitic grades expensive.  The more corrosion resistant duplex grades, containing less nickel and a better balance of chromium and molybdenum, have penetrated the market to a greater extent than the leaner alloys, and 2205 has become the most common alloy where the corrosion resistance of grade 316 is inadequate.

The duplex grades are much more resistant to stress corrosion cracking than the austenitic grades, and they are effectively immune in potable water.  They are also less prone to sensitisation than austenitic grades, although not immune.

Mechanical and Physical Properties

Duplex grades have about twice the tensile strength and 50% higher yield strength than austenitic grades.  The ductility is about half, but is still high enough to give good formability, with work hardening behaviour similar to that of carbon steels.  Unwelded, duplex grades are tough to low temperatures (-50 to -100°C), and they can often be welded to give transition temperatures well below 0°C.

Duplex grades cannot be strengthened by heat treatment, and since their work hardening is weak they are rarely strengthened by cold work.
Duplex grades are ferromagnetic, and have lower thermal expansion and higher heat conductivity than austenitic grades.


Their much higher strength than austenitic grades often allows duplex grades to be down-gauged to thinner material, with good savings in costs.
The higher strength can be a handicap if the opportunity of down-gauging is not taken, as forming loads are high and may be beyond the capability of the equipment.  Many of the uses of duplex grades are at thicker gauges (greater than ~1.2 mm), where the savings of down-gauging can be achieved without getting to the lighter sheet metal gauges that fabricators can find difficult to weld.

Welding duplex grades requires more control of welding parameters, particularly heat input and interpass temperature, but pre-heat, post-heat and post-weld heat treatment are not required and weldability is considered good.


The high alloy content of most duplex grades makes them susceptible to embrittlement from the formation of intermetallic phases after extended service at high temperatures.  Corrosion resistance is also reduced.  Service temperatures are generally limited to less than about 300°C.


The higher strength of the duplex grades makes them suitable for large tanks, and savings of 40% or more in material costs can be achieved.  They are also used for heat exchangers and chemical equipment, often where chloride stress corrosion cracking has limited the life of austenitic grades.














This article appeared in Australian Stainless Issue 41.

Stainless advance for water treatment plant

Never has there been a time in Australia when water preservation was so critical.  As populations rise and dam levels fall, the importance of treating and reusing water has become not a question of “if” but a question of “when”.

bundambaThe construction of Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant (BAWTP) west of Brisbane is aimed at alleviating pressure on South East Queensland’s existing dams and waterways by providing an alternate water supply for end users in the region, initially Swanbank power station.  

The project has had great flow on benefits for the Australian stainless steel industry as infrastructure requirements point to the material for its strength, corrosion resistance and application performance.

The world-class BAWTP is a joint venture between Thiess Pty Ltd and Black & Veatch, who are responsible for the engineering, design, procurement and construction. Management of the project is in alliance with the Queensland Government. A number of ASSDA members were sub-contracted by Thiess Pty Ltd for various stages of the project, including ASSDA Accredited Fabricator D&R Stainless, Perfab Engineering and Stainless Pipe and Fittings Australia.

Following a tender process, D&R Stainless was engaged for off-site pipe spooling. The quantity of stainless steel used for the job, including around 3000 flanges, meant that D&R Stainless was issued with the materials by Thiess Pty Ltd as needed.  

Many of the piping materials for the first two stages of the project were supplied to Thiess Pty Ltd by Stainless Pipe and Fittings.  Materials were in excess of 350 tonnes and included pipe, pipe fittings and flanges in grade 316L with sizes ranging from 25-600nb.


bundamba2Once delivered, D&R Stainless cut and bevelled the pipe and then welded and passivated internally and externally before undergoing hydro testing.

D&R Stainless Director Karl Manders said that, not only did the pipes use grade 316, but they were also fabricated to Australian Standard 4041, class 1.

“Because the pipework adhered to such a high standard, 10% of all welds were x-rayed for quality,” he says. Passivation of the pipe welds involved applying pickling paste inside and out, and then scrubbing and flushing to avoid loose scale, important for the fine filtration of the water treatment plant.

Karl says quality was something Thiess Pty Ltd took very seriously, with a welding inspector and quality checker appointed at their premises.

“This was to ensure all welding and passivation was performed at the highest standard, and also to ensure that production off-site was consistent with installation schedules onsite”.

Perfab Engineering was also sub-contracted by Thiess Pty Ltd for the manufacture of the reverse osmosis (RO) skids at its workshops in Newcastle, working closely with the designers from suppliers Koch Membrane Systems in the United States.

The work carried out by Perfab included fabrication and surface treatment of the carbon steel skid frames, fabrication of the stainless steel pipework, full mechanical installation of the valves, instrumentation and RO pressure vessels, pneumatic fitout, electric fitout and testing.

The high pressure pipe spools were fabricated from Sch 40S pipe with 300# flanges and low pressure pipe spools from Sch 10S pipe with 150# flanges.

Perfab has three orbital Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (or TIG) machines that were operated around the clock to ensure the tight delivery times were achieved, however Perfab Engineering General Manager Damien Ryba says “the biggest contributor to the success of the job was having a well trained, highly skilled and productive workforce committed to the success of the project”.

At present, the BAWTP 1A is in full operation and delivering water to the Swanbank Power Station. Thiess Black and Veatch Director, Gus Atmeh, said that the BAWTP 1A project was delivered ahead of schedule and this was due to the support of the project by high quality stainless steel fabrication shops from across Australia and particularly from South East Queensland, who provided stainless steel components for state of the art process equipment and piping: “Without them we could not have made it on time.”

This article featured in Australian Stainless Issue 41

Stainless cleans up university grounds

The thought of public rubbish bins usually attracts images of black smelly wheelie bins with broken lids and flies.  However, if you walked through the University of Queensland in Brisbane’s St Lucia, you would be greeted, instead, with clean stainless steel and lovely bright colours.


The installation of between 30-50 new double-bin enclosures has added splashes of colour and flair to the university grounds.  Designers Street and Garden Furniture Co enlisted the services of long time contractors and ASSDA Accredited Fabricators Rocklea Pressed Metal to manufacture the pieces.

Featuring laser cut patterns, bright colour spray painting (to distinguish general rubbish from recycling) and a unique shape, the bins were designed with the surrounding art deco buildings in mind.

Street and Garden Furniture Co Director David Shaw says he often uses stainless steel for outdoor use because of its robustness and he found it particularly useful for the bins.

He says students tended to decorate large surface areas with posters, so using stainless steel meant they could be easily cleaned.

“Much of the damage is often caused by people emptying the bins,” Mr Shaw also says. “So we tried to design them to make them easily accessible.  If the surface gets damaged, they can be simply re-surfaced.”

Manufacture of the bins involved 12.24 square metres of 1.6mm grade 304 sheet with a number 4 finish and 18 lineal metres of 25 x 1.6mm grade 304 square tube. A considerable amount of laser cutting was done to adopt the academic shield and to break the large surface area with an aesthetic pattern.  A floating top was also designed to minimise the dominance of the wheelie bin size and to provide a shield against weather.

The designs were done by Street and Garden Furniture Co and then sent to Rocklea Pressed Metal as a CAD file.
David Shaw says his longstanding relationship with Rocklea Pressed Metal has been built through a history of confidence and delivery.

“An awful lot of the things we do, those guys are involved in,” he says.  “I am totally confident they’ll provide me with what I’ve drawn.”

The University of Queensland project is a longstanding one, dating back to 1997.  The project also incorporates the installation of light poles, tree grates, signage and seats, much of which Rocklea Pressed Metal has contributed to.

This article featured in Australian Stainless Issue 42.

Testing for grade confirmation

Raw material price fluctuations and increasing demand for stainless steels have driven demand for lower cost alloys as alternatives to the traditional “300” series steels. This has been met through a range of existing and new, innovative steels with different properties, performance and availability broadening the range of alloys that might be found in the market. But as with the traditional stainless steels you can’t tell what they are by looking at them.

This article describes most of the range of test methods available for grade confirmation. The method used depends on the budget, size of job and the potential consequences of having the wrong alloy.

Why test?

Contract documents may require formal test certificates.  Usually these are issued by the mill and unless there is reason to doubt them this is sufficient.  However, sometimes a positive material identification (PMI) is required for safety critical items such as LPG valves. Legal cases also tend to be very demanding about precise documentation.  Some products may also be lacking in documentation and traceability.

Unexpected poor performance often prompts calls for material testing. Such testing removes one variable in things that might have gone wrong but the cause is more frequently inadequate surface finish or errors in design or fabrication.

Finally, reverse engineering of an existing product from a competitor or overseas supplier often requires detailed materials’ information.

What level of testing is required?

General or intermediate level guidance could cover differentiation between carbon and stainless steel or between 304 and 316 or between 300 series and 200 series or ferritic grades.

Full laboratory chemical analysis will be needed for some cases (such as determining low carbon grades) or when it has become a legal rather than a technical issue.

Full mechanical and metallurgical analyses may also be required if strength or hardness are essential design elements.  If the material has undergone subsequent surface modification then the required investigation could be extensive – and expensive.

Simple physical tests

Appearance is not a reliable indicator of the grade of stainless steel as the differences are determined more by surface treatments than alloy composition.  Even the differences between mirror polished surfaces are fairly subtle.  The table below shows slight differences in density of some stainless steel alloys but density determination is not a convenient method.


Density (g/cc)

430, 3Cr12/5Cr12




304, 310




A widely accepted test is a magnet.  Duplex, super duplex, martensitic and ferritic stainless steels are strongly attracted to a magnet while annealed austenitic stainless steels are not.  However, cold worked austenitic stainless steels are weakly attracted to a magnet so cold formed ends to a vessel, cold rolled bolts and bent corners will be affected by a magnet.  This applies to both the conventional chromium-nickel 300 grades and the chromium-manganese 200 series austenitic grades.

The strength of the effect that a magnet has on a material can be related to the relative permeability and the graph shows the different effect of the same level of cold work (bending) on various austenitic alloys. The grades with higher nickel or austenitising elements (310 or 316) show much lower magnetic properties. In comparison, mild steel has a relative permeability somewhere between a few hundred and 2000.  Relative permeability of duplex and ferritic alloys is in the hundreds.  Precipitation hardening alloys are magnetic but the degree depends on whether the alloy is martensitic or semi-austenitic.


Chemical tests

The proprietary kits are designed to test for a specific element and have a limited shelf life.  If you have a project requiring multiple tests then they are very useful. However, if you only require a couple of tests a year, then it may be cheaper and more thorough to run a full laboratory test.


The most common test uses a single drop of solution to distinguish between low and high molybdenum content. The “Moly Drop” test will distinguish between 304/304L and 316/316L but the test will also give a positive result with 317/317L, 904L, the 6% Mo grades, 444, 2205 and the super duplex grades.  The test requires a clean, dry, grease free surface and it sometimes helps to lightly abrade the surface.

The yellow drop (as shown) will darken after a few minutes but the reaction speed is slower if the surface is cold.  It is a comparative test and scrap additions during production may give enough molybdenum to give a slight colouration.

The test is therefore most reliable if a known 304 and 316 are tested with the unknown. If the sample is to be used in service, then the chemicals should be washed away immediately after the test.

There is another chemical test using ethyl xanthogenate to form a red or pink complex when molybdenum ions are dissolved in solution.  The molybdenum is dissolved from the surface either by using a hydrochloric or sulphuric acid.  The strength of the colour depends on the level on molybdenum in the alloy.


The increasing use of high manganese stainless steels has led to several manganese test kits operating on the same principal as the electrochemical test for molybdenum. The semi-quantitative results of a kit test for manganese are shown in the photographs below.

Apart from the recent low nickel, high manganese stainless grades, there have been specialist 200 series grades used in generators, higher strength (pre duplex) marine alloys and for anti-galling applications.


A practical and rapid test for a high sulphur (free machining) stainless steel (303 and 430F are the most common) is to prepare sulphur prints using photographic paper soaked in 3% sulphuric acid for several minutes.  The treated paper is pressed onto a cleaned surface for about 5 seconds. High sulphur levels are shown by a brown colour.  Once again, this is a comparative test so low and high sulphur samples should be compared to the test piece.

Instrumental techniques

There are two basic techniques each with two variants. The automated instruments are expensive and would normally be used for large projects, or by scrap metal merchants, manufacturers or specialist NDT contractors.

Spark spectroscopy requires a flat surface preferably about 20mm in diameter. An electrical spark is generated and the colour of the spark is determined by the elements present.  The elemental concentration is controlled by the intensity of the specific colours. In automated instruments, the spectrum is compared to a library of data and percentage composition is calculated for each element.  Calibration is required against materials with similar composition.  A sparking mark is left on the surface and must be removed if appearance or fatigue resistance is important.  The instrument’s accuracy tends to be lower than a laboratory instrument and exposure to air excludes measuring nitrogen.

The older “Metascopes” were also spark spectroscopes but relied on visual comparisons of line brightness so their accuracy was very operator dependant. Grinding spark identification using a hard, high speed grinding wheel is even older technology. It will cause a grinding burr and is extremely dependent on the operator skill.  Spark bursts are related to the carbon content and characteristic sparks/carrier lines are related to the alloying metals. Chromium in steel produces a spark stream that is orange-red in colour. A yellow colouration caused by nickel persists all along the spark whereas the orange specks of chromium appear only near the origin of the spark stream, in close contact with the grinding wheel. Relatively narrow and short spark streams, white-yellow in colour, are produced in type 304 stainless steels.

The second broad method is X-ray fluorescence.  Older instruments used one or more radioactive sources although more recent miniaturisation of X-ray tubes means that some instruments generate X-rays directly.  Regardless of their source, the X-rays excite electrons from the inner shells of the elements and when outer electrons fall into the newly vacant shell, a characteristic spectrum of light – generally with a number of lines – is emitted.The instrument measures the intensity of counts in each line and compares it to an internal databank.  Provided that the surface is clean and smooth and the measurement is for long enough to give good statistics (typically between 20 and 60 seconds), then the alloy can be identified.  However, because of the physics of X-ray fluorescence, it cannot analyse for light elements, especially carbon or nitrogen.  The units are light and easy to use as seen in the picture. One advantage for reporting is that results can be directly downloaded into a computer records system

Laboratory measurements

Atomic Absorption (AA) or Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectroscopy (ICP) techniques use laboratory instruments after a sample has been digested in (usually) a mixture of acids. This is slow and may be more expensive than a spark test but it will give a more complete and reliable result.  Carbon requires a separate (LECO ignition) test and detecting silicon by either method requires aggressive chemicals to get the silicon into solution.

Which test?

  • Is it 430/2205 or 304/316?
    A magnet will be strongly attracted to 430 and 2205 but only weakly to deformed parts of 304 or 316.
  • Is it 430 or 2205?
    Both are strongly magnetic but only duplex 2205 will give a positive moly drop test result.
  • Is it 304 or 316?
    A moly drop test will give a positive result with 316.
  • Is it a low carbon grade?
    Only a spark spectrometer can distinguish between low and standard carbon grades.

In all these cases a full laboratory analysis will answer the question and provide a full composition for about $100.

This article appeared in Australian Stainless Issue 42.

The assistance of ASSDA colleagues is gratefully acknowledged - in particular, Peter Moore from Atlas Steels.

Standing the test of time

The $10 million stainless steel revamp of Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall has certainly lived up to its original purpose, providing a durable, clean and simple linear theme.

In 2006, inspired by success stories of nearby stainless street furniture, the City of Melbourne council conducted a life cycle costing analysis – with astounding results.

City of Melbourne Industrial Designer Marika Mulqueen said stainless steel ensured low maintenance costs and design flexibility.

“Using stainless steel over powder coated steel significantly reduces ongoing maintenance costs. A comparison found that while stainless steel can initially cost more, over a 20 year period maintenance costs can be up to 50 per cent less than powder coated steel. Maintenance involves a once a year pressure clean instead of the need for regular repainting to deal with scratching and paint peeling,” she said.

“Scratches do not show up as easily because the furniture is brushed stainless steel and is not prone to fading,” she said.

MME provided smooth mechanical finishing which minimises dirt retention for optimum corrosion resistance.

The project included new seating, drinking fountains, recycle bins, banner poles and a new fit-out for the tram zone.

Stainless steel was chosen as, when the correct surface finish is applied, it is virtually maintenance free.

John Bainbridge of ASSDA member MME Surface Finishing presented the department with information on the value of considering the life cycle cost advantage of stainless steel and the importance of specifying the correct surface finish.

ASSDA member TRJ Engineering fabricated the commemorative totem poles. The poles use grade 316 stainless steel in a No.4 scratch finish. Each consisted of two pressed cylinders at the base of the pole which had L.E.D. lights mounted on both sides behind a glass facia.

The cylinders were formed in a CNC brake press which worked very well to prevent any surface roughness.

The last part of the project was completed in-house before installation and electro-polishing.

The Melbourne Technical Design Department has since recommended that all future street furniture commissioned by the council be stainless steel specified.


This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 44, Spring 2008.

Photography courtesy of Andrew Curtis.

Stainless to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

To overcome environmental concerns around landfill, Perth’s largest waste management authority, Mindarie Regional Council, is building a facility for the 70 per cent of household waste that is organic material and can be composted.

The $80m building is due for completion in 2009 and will save on landfill, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and will produce a rich organic matter that may be added to Perth’s sandy soil.

The new composting facility, to be built using a prize-winning technology developed by Canadian firm, Conporec, comes at a time when the ongoing feasibility of landfill in crowded cities is questionable.

In September this year a new hazard came to light when residents of the outer-Melbourne suburb of Cranbourne were advised to leave after pockets of methane were found in their homes at a dangerous 60-65 per cent concentration. The methane had leached from a nearby landfill - concentrations of 5-15 per cent are considered an explosion risk.

The composting building’s odour removal system uses extraction ducts to capture and then transport air to a biofilter. Stainless steel was specified because of its corrosion resistance.

Organic waste is broken down as it would be in nature, but the composting process is much faster. The compost is produced in a sealed building at negative pressure, where moist air is forced through. The resulting atmosphere in the building is hot, humid and corrosive. Composting produces heat which quickens the corrosion process, particularly in Perth’s hot climate.

Turbo Air Technology Pty Ltd of Bayswater, Perth, fabricated the extraction ducts from AWM 404GP® stainless steel, supplied by ASSDA Major Sponsor Austral Wright Metals.
John Dubbelman, Managing Director of Turbo Air Technology Pty Ltd, says the best specification for the job wasn’t necessarily what had been used in the past.

“Experience with similar installations in Canada led the project managers Kerman Contracting Limited (KCL) to specify grade 304 stainless steel for the ducts,” John says.

“With the help of Austral Wright Metals, we were able to convince them of the fabrication and cost benefits of AWM 404GP®, a ferritic stainless steel with equivalent corrosion resistance to 304. We have used it for the lock-seamed spiral ducts, lobsterbacks, and plenums. We fabricated the new grade without dramas, and KCL is now installing it. It looks good.”

This article appeared in Australian Stainless Issue 44.

Stainless Refinery First of its Kind
Australia’s first grain-to-ethanol refinery has begun production in Queensland, with an expected output of more than 80 million litres a year.

Seven pressure vessels and five columns were fabricated by ASSDA Accredited D&R Stainless from 30 tonnes of grade 304 stainless
steel supplied by ASSDA member Sandvik.

The column sizes range from an acid reduction column 750mm in diameter and 14.2 metres long to a beer column 1900mm in diameter and 24 metres long. 

The columns were fabricated to tight tolerances set by process design engineers Detla T Technology, in the United States.

Chief Executive Officer of Dalby Bio-Refinery Limited, Kevin Endres, has worked with Delta T technnology in the US.

Mr Endres said stainless was the obvious choice for its durability. A project of this size requires a low maintenance and reliable material.

All design and manufacturing was carried out by D&R Stainless to ASME VIII complying with AS1210.

D&R also fabricated 6000 metres of grade 304 piping in sizes from 20NB to 500NB requiring over 6100 elbows, flanges and fittings from ASSDA member Stainless Pipe & Fittings Australia.

All piping was x-ray quality and met ASME B31.3.

Mr Endres said the refinery will eventually expand to output over 200 million litres of ethanol per year.

This article appeared in Australian Stainless Magazine -  Issue 45, Summer 2009.


Showcasing motorcycle champions with stainless

The Ducati Sydney Racing Team have many reasons to be proud after Twin Cylinder motorcycle rider, Craig McMartin, won the 2004 Australian Pro-Twins Championship.

McMartin, who also won the championship in 2001 and 2002, rode his Ducati Sydney 999S to his third victory at the final round held in September 2004 at Phillip Island, Victoria.

The success of McMartin and fellow Ducati riders in the Championship also contributed to the Ducati team winning the fourth successive Manufacturers Championship.

Every Championship win gives Ducati the edge over other motorcycle manufacturers as they compete for the attention of enthusiasts seeking to purchase their next motorcycle.

To showcase the achievements of Craig McMartin and the Ducati Sydney Racing Team, team sponsor and ASSDA member, Interspace Manufacturing, designed a range of displays.

In addition to custom designed large banners and free standing corporate signage, the Ducati displays included merchandising stands and motorcycle platforms.

The Sydney-based company designs, develops, prototypes, tests, manufactures and supplies all types of architectural products where quality and design is important.

Design products include everything from smart fixing systems, furniture, storage, display, balustrading, glass patch fittings and feature walls, to larger building projects with stainless steel wire mesh for ceilings and interior and exterior walls.

This article was featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 32, Winter 2005.

Remembering a loved one - forever shining in stainless steel

When a loved one passes, you want to remember your special person's life with a suitable monument that reflects your love. After losing a loved one, two men came up with a shining memorial of stainless steel that would help make the memory of a loved one shine forever.

With no prior experience or previous interest in cemetery and crematorium industry, mechanical engineers Allan Burman and Albert Boer started a business to manufacture and supply modern stainless steel memorials.

Allan's daughter, Nicole, was a vibrant, energetic, artistic, high achieving, talented young woman. Unfortunately, Nicole was diagnosed with a serious brain tumour in her fifth year of medical studies. She was so determined to become a doctor that she successfully completed her medical degree after brain surgery.

Many other people in similar circumstances would have given up. Nicole successfully completed her internship while battling with a life threatening disease, but passed away during her specialist training and studies.

After Nicole's death they visited her grave which was surrounded by a sea of conventional colourless black, white and grey monuments. Even though many of these stone monuments were well presented they were not Nicole's style.

During this time they met other people who had lost a loved one and, like them, were dissatisfied with the memorials currently available.

They realized that there was a need and desire on the part of loved ones for a beautiful, long lasting, stylish alternative from those traditionally available. They believed that there must be a better way for people to remember their loved ones.

Much research and development has taken place at Forever Shining with the product range expanded to include monuments, headstones, plaques, urns and personalised memorabilia. In joint discussions with their wives, Susie and Judy, they drew upon their engineering knowledge and expertise and brainstormed various possible ideas, concepts and compatible materials to produce what they believed to be low maintenance memorials that were modern, structurally sound, durable and colourful.

Allan and Albert initially designed a prototype of a full size stainless steel monument complete with patented applied laser cut inscription and motif backed by glass to produce vibrant colour.

In the case of reburial, the cemetery staff can remove the whole monument from the grave in order to prevent any damage to the monument during the digging process.

This monument was featured on the New Inventors program on ABC Television.

Since that time, much research and development has taken place and their range of products has expanded considerably to include monuments, headstones, plaques, urns and personalized memorabilia.

The mission of Forever Shining is to produce beautiful, durable and long lasting memorials that the family and friends of the departed desire. These memorials are designed to preserve the memories of their loved ones for as long as possible for their families and future generations.

Forever Shining have incorporated proven new and old materials including stainless steel, granite, crystal and glass into modern styles and designs to give a new look which meet the expectations and needs of a changing society.

The company has developed an interactive website - www.forevershining.com.au - where potential customers can design their own memorial online.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 36, Winter 2006.

northern hospitality shines in stainless at bar zushi

Friendships in business are the key to success in Darwin's hospitality community. Like the many subtle flavours in sashimi, creating a Japanese restaurant such as Bar Zushi in the Casuarina Square Shopping Centre requires the co-ordination of many people and elements to design a truly inviting and friendly atmosphere.


Darwin-based company Brilliant Kitchens and Interiors won the HIA NT Housing Award in 2005 for Best Commercial Kitchen and Fitout for the unique restaurant design that features a waterfall centrepiece manufactured from stainless steel by local ASSDA Accredited Fabricator, Northern Stainless.


Drawing customers to the restaurant is an exquisite eastern theme blending the rich colours of the curved jarrah timber and contrasted by modern stainless steel panelling.

Lining the length of the wall is a staggered garden arrangement of bamboo poles set in large white stones - a feature that further enhances the attractive, tropical experience.

To fit out the restaurant design, Brilliant Kitchens and Interiors called on Northern Stainless to fabricate the stainless waterfall and bench panel architectural features.

The three metre long water feature separates diners from the engine room where master chefs are preparing their next creation.

Northern Stainless specialises in the supply, fabrication and installation of stainless steel commercial products including custom made benches, handrails, grates, trays, trolleys, pipework, shelving and tanks.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 35, Autumn 2006.

Making a big entrance with stainless steel

Fusing industrial technology with the domestic aesthetic is a hard challenge, but Architect, Zelman McLaren of Z1 Designs has mastered it by transferring stainless steel industrial wire rope into an attractive household feature for front doors.

The stainless steel braided door pull creates a unique alternative, adding flair to house entrance designs.McLaren has combined both his profession of architecture with the industrial world of wire rope manufacture to invent a stunning range of braided door pulls that blur the lines between wall mounted art and the functional door pull.

The invention came about from a 'technology transfer' thanks to an 'Orbital Braider' invention developed by McLaren's father, Raymond McLaren of Andromeda Engineering.

The 'Orbital Braider' braids stainless steel wire into a rope which then acts as a stocking to lift and pull large electricity powerlines into place.

ASSDA member, Midway Metals in Newcastle supplied the 304 stainless steel for the bollards for the manufacture of the door pulls.

William Cotterill, Director of Australian Door Furniture said the design distinctly stands out as a product that will compliment any home or commercial premises.

"Its clean yet bold lines lend subtle curves that work on straight linear doors to the more rounded tropical style, lending a nautical feel to coastal properties," Mr Cotterill said.

The door pull series ranges from Z1 to Z8 and are supplied in both a polished and satin finish complete with stainless steel bollards.

Designs can be personalised with the addition of corporate logos / business names to the tops of the stainless steel bollard connectors.

The design will soon be available as a range of turn handles and will appeal to style conscious homeowners and our most renowned architects.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 27, February 2004.


Photos by Zelman McLaren, Z1 Designs

Lounge around in stainless steel daybeds from Klein

Lounge around in style on prestige daybeds featuring patterned stainless steel with a relaxed, resort aesthetic.

Klein Architectural's products include outdoor furniture such as the double deckchair, tables, water features, planters, mirrors and more.By night, the beds are a stunning poolside feature with a supplied light box gently projecting a kaleidoscope of colour on the swirling stainless steel surface.

Featuring one hundred percent waterproof UV rated upholstery with welded seams and castor wheels for easy mobility, the 'Ibiza' daybed is ideal for poolside entertaining.

ASSDA member, Klein Architectural has launched the 'Ibiza' daybeds nationally along with a range of other ultra-modern products designed to make life easier.

Working well in both commercial areas as well as in the home, some of Klein Architectural's products include outdoor furniture such as the double deckchair, tables, water features, planters, daybeds, shelving, sinks, vases, letterboxes and mirrors.

Designs include handrails and balustrades, planters, clocks, signage, cladding, stairs and nightclub refurbishments and fittings.

Klein Architectural produces a multitude of materials for both internal and external applications using the signature swirling effect. With over 30 years experience in the metalwork industry, Klein Architectural takes pride in their fine artistic creations fashioned from stainless steel.

The Ibiza daybed by Klein Architectural is ideal for poolside entertaining.Company director, Danny Klein, discovered the technique for creating the distinctive patterning design by chance but keeps the unique tooling method a closely guarded secret.

With a prime focus on providing durable and elegant stainless steel couture, all products are fabricated from stainless steel supplied by ASSDA Major Sponsor, Fagersta Steels.

Klein's artwork will be exclusively distributed by ASSDA member, Rimex Metals (Australia), a company that supplies a complete range of metal finishes for stainless steel.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 34 - Summer 2005.

Fishing for compliments: stainless steel fish art

Steve Mason and his mate were sitting on a couch one day drinking beer when Steve came up with the idea of using stainless to turn his mate's wall into a work of art.

Steve's mate had just purchased a new unit with a large sea green wall. As the pair sat staring at the wall, Steve got an idea that would change his life ..... and complement his mate's wall.

"He wanted something to hang on the wall to break up the space, so I made him a school of eight mackerel," Mason said.

A boilermaker from Woodford, Queensland, Mason loves to go fishing and is inspired by pictures of fish in magazines, but soon found that choosing the right material was important.

"I heated some stainless to colour it and left it aside for about 18 months. When I found it again and noticed the colours had not faded significantly, I decided to make fish out of 316."

"The colours that appear and the sheen and lustre of 316 really suits fish" Mason said.

Working closely with fish photos and sketches, Mason tries to capture distinguishing features of each species including bream, barramundi, whiting, coral trout, marlin and many more.

Mason sources stainless steel scrap from ASSDA member Smorgon Steel Recyclers (Metalcorp, Hemmant - Queensland) and purchases grade 316 stainless steel sheet from ASSDA member Midway Metals (Queensland) to create many of his art sculptures.

Steve Mason now works full-time creating stainless steel fish art under the trading name of Masosa and sells his art through mailorder catalogue and in person at the Eumundi Markets, Queensland every Saturday morning.

Ranging from $145 to $3,000 in price, Steve's art now complements walls in cafes, fish and chip shops, art galleries and beside home pools. Best of all, it is the perfect present for one wall (or every wall) of any fishing fanatic.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 29, September 2004.

Drinking to a healthy life with stainless raincatchers

As many cities and towns across Australia continue to experience water restrictions due to the drought, seeking solutions to water saving is now a high priority with consumers.

Raincatcher - a unique design that separates the atmospheric and roof pollutants from the water.In 1994, ASSDA member, Hart to Hart Fabrications developed the Raincatcher - a unique design that separates the atmospheric and roof pollutants from the water.

The Raincatcher tank is manufactured from grade 304 stainless steel. Even parts like pins, hinges and filter screens are all made from stainless steel material.

Rainwater from the roof runs through the leaf diverter, removing leaves and large debris. The rainwater then flows through a unique filtration system, diverting atmospheric and roof pollutants away from the main water storage facility.

Raincatcher's main storage facility and filtration system is made from stainless steel due to its high resistance to corrosion, staining and bacteria.

The most frequent concern about drinking water is its bacteriological quality. Research has shown that there is about 100 times less bacteria residue on stainless steel than on other materials.

Raincatcher tanks are a useful solution to the health conscious water consumers, and also to people who live in areas which have particular problems with tap water.  It can be used in combination with existing rural water tanks.

Raincatcher can be used as an additional unit to an existing water tank. The water stored in Raincatcher has passed through the filtration system, making it excellent for drinking and kitchen use.

Raincatcher is an affordable alternative to tap water filtration units, and perhaps in the long term, to bottled spring and mineral water.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 34 - Summer 2005.

Designing kitchens of style with Bell Stainless

Great attention to detail is what immediately comes to mind when you visit the home and kitchen of Kenmore Hills property developer, Matt Sproule.

Sproule's residence in Brisbane's westside features a modern stainless steel kitchen designed by Brian Grant Kitchens and Bathrooms that would be the envy of most interior designers and home chefs.

According to Sproule, friend and business associate, Royce Amos of Royce Amos Interior Design was the driving force for the inclusion of stainless steel benches in the design.

Fabricated by ASSDA Accredited Fabricator Bell Stainless, the large prestige kitchen has four food preparation areas all designed for entertaining a large group of people.

The main area of the kitchen design features a five metre long stainless steel benchtop with a highly, scratch resistant textured finish and seamless welded Murray triple bowl sinks (another full size sink is under the drainage tray).

Other kitchen areas include a stainless steel barbeque with hood and in-built drain for oils and grease plus textured stainless side benching, stovetop gas burners, hood and textured stainless bench and a four metre long marble island bench for food preparation.

Bell Stainless' craftmanship and attention to detail is highlighted in the enduring finish. Sproule said that he was delighted with the way Bell Stainless handled the job. After one year in service and with careful treatment by its owners, the stainless steel benches show no sign of scratches or dents.

Bell Stainless is a family-owned business operating since 1956, mainly manufacturing for the domestic market, an area not often tackled by many metal fabricators.

Bell Stainless is the only Australian company and ASSDA Accredited Fabricator to have won an international award for kitchen design and manufacture from the South African Stainless Steel Development Association.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 35, Autumn 2006.

crimsafe security: stainless steel that's tough on crime

Small business owner Peter Burr is really serious about protecting property at his automotive engineering business in Brisbane. 

Using his engineering background, Peter Burr beat the burglars with ASSDA member, Crimsafe's Commercial System product with unique screw-clamp design. 

“We got it because I saw a number of the businesses around us get broken into,” Peter says. “In fact just before I started looking for a stainless security mesh the businesses in the industrial park where we are located were broken into five times in just eight months”.

“The usual method of entry was a heavy bit of concrete or rock straight through the plate glass. With nobody around at night, the thieves could make that kind of noise and get away with it - it was a real smash and grab affair.”

“We didn't want to put bars on the shop front, because we didn't want our business to carry that jail-like aspect. So I started looking at a couple of security meshes.”

Featuring more than five times the number of screws through the mesh than those used in domestic Crimsafe, Crimsafe's Commercial Grade security system is virtually indestructible.

Screws are drilled into the clamp every 25mm in a staggered fashion to resist any tendency for a single line of screws to weaken the mesh under extreme pressure.                   

In engineering a high level of security to prevent break-ins and theft, the Commercial Crimsafe product even withstood a ballistic missile test under simulated cyclone conditions.

With that kind of security, Peter can go home at night and have peace of mind that his business and property will be safe.

“It wasn't the cheapest security screen, but it was the only one we saw that we could have had any faith in. So we had it installed and in the three years since we've never had a problem with theft.”

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 34 - Summer 2005.

Creating consumer appeal with Koolall and stainless steel

Food retail shops and bars are constantly vying for the attention of consumers. Presentation is everything and stainless steel appeal can often be an essential ingredient to business success.



One such Australian business success is Lenard's Poultry. Lenard's was voted the Best Food Retailer in Australia by the National Retail Association at the 2005 Rewards for Excellence.

With more than 194 stores throughout Australia and more planned to open in the next financial year, Lenard's went head-to-head with some heavy-weight competitors including supermarkets, takeaway food and fresh food retailers to secure the prestigious title.

According to ASSDA Accredited Fabricator, Koolall Manufacturing, creating consumer appeal requires working closely with business franchisees and shopowners to ensure a quality presentation and functional design.

Established in 1979, current owner Igor Theodoridis purchased the company in 1986. Situated between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Koolall Manufacturing specialises in the design and manufacture of custom stainless steel commercial kitchens and refrigeration cabinets.

Mr Theodoridis says often franchisee owners must “run to a deadline that's set by shopping centres” to ensure that all shops open simultaneously and on schedule.

With more than 17 years experience working with franchisees for Lenard's and the Coffee Club, Koolall's personal approach to handling fitouts for commercial kitchens and hotels is an enviable achievement.


Koolall Manufacturing offers uncomplicated, full service fitouts that effectively streamlines the shopfitting process leaving clients like The Coffee Club free to focus on the business - not the fitout.

Since the opening of the first Coffee Club franchise in 1989, Koolall Manufacturing's team work hard to ensure that the Coffee Club brand and culture is consistently achieved.

The company designs, manufactures and installs fridges, cake displays and kitchen preparation benching and equipment for more than 105 Coffee Club outlets in Australia and New Zealand.


A major refit of one of Brisbane's great railway bars, Fihelly's Arms Hotel, has seen the city venue transform into the Grand Central Hotel.

Koolall Manufacturing designed, manufactured and installed the stainless steel refrigeration units and benching for the main public bar, commercial kitchen and Platform - a bar for trainspotters and travellers looking for a tipple.

And with a hotel that offers about 20 beers on tap, Koolall's design assistance was critical in positioning beer fonts, glass racks and benches for staff to operate as efficiently as possible.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 34 - Summer 2005

Choosing hot water storage tanks

Replacing your hot water system is both inconvenient and expensive, so it pays to carefully consider a hot water storage tank that will stand the test of time as well as deliver energy (and cost) efficiencies.

Storage tanks for hot water systems are made from either stainless steel or from carbon steel with a coating of vitreous enamel.

Stainless steel hot water storage tanks

A hot water storage tank made from grade 316 stainless steel. Image courtesy of Edwards Hot Water.Stainless steel tanks are made from 316 stainless steel, a material which is typically used in the marine industry because of its high corrosion resistance. The 316 stainless steel provides a natural barrier to corrosion that is virtually maintenance free.

This characteristic of stainless steel is evident by the use of 316 or its sister alloy 304 in many other areas of the home including kitchen sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, pots, pans, cutlery and fridges.

The material's strength and inherent corrosion resistance as well as its fatigue resistance from the stresses of constant temperature and pressure variation during service makes stainless steel a strong and durable option.

Vitreous enamel hot water storage tanks

Because carbon steels will corrode in contact with air or water, the surface of the tank must be protected by a layer of vitreous enamel added to line the interior of carbon steel.

However, manufacturers can't make the enamel layer perfectly impervious. The steel and enamel lining expand and contract at different rates as the temperature in the tank rises and falls. This can cause the enamel to craze or come unstuck from the steel, exposing it to water and corrosion. This is a particular problem if the water temperature is set too high.

The steel exposed at the coating defects is protected by the use of a 'sacrificial anode' that acts to prolong the life of the tank. These anodes, usually made from a magnesium alloy, require checking at regular intervals and replacement every 5-7 years on average.

Some water qualities (such as very soft or very pure water) are inappropriate for this system because characteristics of the water render the anode ineffective.

Stainless steel storage tank manufacturers

Edwards Hot Water, Aquamax and Beasley Water Systems are some of the main stainless steel storage tank manufacturers in Australia.

ASSDA member, Edwards Hot Water, has over 35 years of experience in the manufacture, supply and installation of stainless steel hot water systems. Edwards Hot Water exports tanks to 40 countries and the tanks comply with AS2712, the benchmark standard for hot water systems.

Manufacturers of stainless steel hot water tanks give long warranties because in the majority of conditions the tanks perform excellently and provide years of trouble free service without the need for regular maintenance or consumable parts.

Choosing a stainless steel hot water system means long life, low maintenance and a long warranty.

Image courtesy of Edwards Hot Water.
This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 30, January 2005.

Building sustainably with stainless steel termimesh

Residential developers are encouraging new homebuyers to adopt more environmentally friendly materials when building - a trend that is growing in strength throughout many Australian capital cities and regional towns.

Termimesh works just like an insect screen. The mesh barrier is expertly installed across concealed potential termite entry points during the early stages of construction.The Old Broome Estate's Sustainable Home Award is offering $20,000 cash as a first prize incentive to a homeowner/builder who can best meet the sustainable design guidelines.

One sustainable element specified in the guidelines included using a non-toxic white ant deterrent such as Termimesh, a stainless mesh barrier manufactured by ASSDA member, TMA Corporation (formerly Termimesh Australia).

Termites nest in the ground underneath homes and if left unchecked can make a meal of timber floorboards and supporting frames. When a house has been identified as infested, immediate disruptive and expensive repairs, spraying and annual checks are required.

Termite damage is not commonly covered by normal household insurance, so land owners planning on building a new house should be proactive in specifying safe and effective termite protection.

The Termimesh System is produced from a proprietary, specialised grade of stainless steel that provides a highly effective and long life protective barrier against termites without the spraying of chemicals.

Termimesh works just like an insect screen. The mesh barrier is expertly installed across concealed potential termite entry points during the early stages of construction.

Termimesh is included in the Australian Standard - Protection of Buildings from Subterranean Termites, and has been assessed through the CSIRO product appraisal system.

With the backing of a 10 year warranty, many leading home builders throughout Australia include the Termimesh System as their standard specification for termite control. In addition, the Australian developed System has been exported overseas to South East Asia, Japan and the United States.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 36, Winter 2006.