Food-grade 304 stainless steel pipe is a type of stainless steel pipe used in the food industry. It is corrosion-resistant and heat-resistant. In the food industry, it can also be used as a heat exchanger or as an insulator due to its chemical resistance. What are the benefits of stainless steel pipe? In food processing plants, stainless steel pipes are widely used for heat transfer and cooling. It is suitable for food industry processing because it has excellent corrosion resistance and high chemical resistance. Additionally, it has good electrical insulation properties so it has high electrical conductivity and low electrical resistance.

1. Composition of heavy metals

There is a significant difference between food grade 304 stainless steel pipe. Industrial pipe in that the heavy metal content is much lower in food grade 304 stainless steel pipe. 

In this section, we will discuss the composition of heavy metals in stainless steel pipe and industrial pipe. A professional writer with a background in chemistry, physics, and industrial pipe wrote the content. Heavy metals in stainless steel pipe: Stainless steel pipe is made from a variety of materials that are difficult to distinguish from one another. As a result, it is difficult to describe heavy metals in stainless steel pipes. For this purpose, we will focus on six basic types of materials: aluminum, copper, lead, magnesium, zinc, and more. As each of these materials has different properties, we will describe them based on their properties rather than their types. 

In stainless steel pipes, aluminum is used for two purposes:

1) It is an alloy that is easy to machine

2) When exposed to water, it is highly corrosion-resistant.

2. The surface

The surface is the most obvious difference. 304 stainless steel pipes for food must have a BA-grade surface, which is a bright surface; industrial pipes have no surface requirements, but the surface is often rough, and the key is corrosion resistance.

3. Requirements for processes

When food-grade 304 stainless steel pipes are in direct contact with food, the inside finish is extremely important. The inner wall needs to be polished and brightly annealed to make the tube wall smoother. Clogging can be prevented if there is a liquid medium inside.

Since industrial pipes are usually used in polluted environments, they have higher requirements for anti-oxidation performance, so pickling passivation treatment is generally used. During pickling passivation, a thick oxide film is generated on the pipe’s surface, which improves corrosion resistance.

4. Standards for implementation

The reference standard for food grade 304 stainless steel pipe is QB/T 2467-2017 “Stainless Steel Pipe Standard for Food Industry”

It is not very similar to the standards for implementing stainless steel pipe and industrial pipe. Stainless steel specifications offer a lot more flexibility when it comes to wall thickness and thickness range. As for industrial pipes, there is little flexibility and no standard for wall thickness or thickness range. We need standardized specifications on these types of pipes that can be used by all manufacturers who produce them in order to help manufacturers implement these standards. Stainless steel pipe and industrial pipe standards are changing. Technology, materials, and manufacturing processes have been updated to meet the new standards.

5. Application scope

Stainless steel pipes of food grade are generally used in manufacturing equipment and assembly lines for food, beverages, wine, medicine, etc. industrial pipes are commonly used in boilers, heat exchangers, mechanical parts, sewage pipes, and pressure pipes for chemical industries.

Food-grade 304 stainless steel pipe differs from an industrial pipe in the following ways. Heavy metal content, surface, process requirements, implementation standards, and application scope are the differences between the two. Furthermore, there are differences in prices, production methods, etc.

What Makes ‘Food Grade Stainless Steel Safe?

A stainless steel’s grade is determined by how it performs against various tests and requirements. In the case of stainless steel, however, these measurements refer to its quality, durability, and temperature resistance. Stainless steel that is food grade meets all criteria to be deemed safe for food preparation, storage, and consumption.

Stainless steel type 304 is the most common food-grade steel. However, 304-grade stainless steel is also known as 18/8 and 18/10 stainless steel. These numbers describe the composition of the stainless steel; the amount of chromium and nickel. The 18/8 and 18/10 contain 18% chromium and 8% or 10% nickel, respectively.

Its resistance to corrosion and oxidation makes 304-grade stainless steel popular in the food industry. Chromium protects the product from oxidation and rust, while nickel protects the food-grade drum from corrosion. Stainless steel with a higher nickel content is more corrosion-resistant.

In the food industry and in kitchens, stainless steel is one of the most common materials. It is present in everything from food processing plants to large, commercial kitchens to your own kitchen at home. With its corrosion and oxidation resistance, durability, and ease of cleaning, stainless steel are one of the safest materials used in food preparation and storage. As well as resisting acids found in meats, milk, fruits, and vegetables, type 304 stainless steel doesn’t contain any chemicals that can migrate into your food, making it a safe, strong, durable choice for appliances, dishware, utensils, food storage, and more.

Skolnik’s type 304 stainless steel is safe.  Browse our online product catalog for food-grade stainless steel drums.

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