Choosing the right scales for your business is always going to be a difficult decision, especially with so much choice on the market. Typically, the buying decision comes down to the price.
However, stainless steel is always a popular choice, even though it’s more expensive than the alternative mild steel. This is because stainless steel offers many advantages, which are listed in this blog post.
But First, What Is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is an invaluable material. It is a low carbon steel alloy, which consists of chromium at a weight of 10%. Other elements include iron, nickel, manganese and copper. There are over 60 stainless steel grades, including 316 stainless steel. All Marsden stainless steel scales are constructed from 304 food grade stainless steel, which is the most popular in the food industry.
Ultimately, stainless steel is well-known for being robust, hygienic, and resistant to corrosion. Because of this, it has many applications in industrial manufacturing and food processing.
What Are the Benefits of Using Stainless Steel Scales?
1. Corrosion Resistance
All types of stainless steel are highly resistant to corrosion, allowing them to be used in a range of environments. Essentially, this means that stainless steel will not corrode when it comes into contact with external elements like food, oxygen and cleaning supplies. This also means that stainless steel does not rust, unless in aggressive conditions.
During the fabrication process, chromium is added to the alloy, which reacts with oxygen in the air to create a protective layer around the metal. This layer actually has healing properties that enable it to quickly repair itself when damaged. The exact level of corrosion-resistance a stainless steel item has depends on its grade.
The higher the nickel content, the more resistant the stainless steel is to corrosion. 304 food grade stainless steel tends to contain either 8% or 10% nickel.
2. High and Low Temperature Resistance
Stainless steel’s temperature resistant properties make it suitable for a number of applications. Some grades of stainless steel will retain their rigidity and strength, even at the highest temperatures. Other grades can be also used at extremely cold temperatures with no issues.
3. Aesthetic Appeal
Whether you take a lot of photos for social media, or you have your workspace on display, stainless steel is a bright, easily-maintained material, which has a high-quality, professional appearance.
Feedback from many customers in the food and drinks industry suggests the appearance of weighing scales is important. If you’re a butcher or a fishmonger and are using tired, old weighing scales, this may leave a negative impression on your customers. In fact, we were told in one of our case studies that “Customers associate stainless steel with being clean and hygienic.”
4. Hygienic Properties
Stainless steel is a very easy to clean and low maintenance material. It is one of the most hygienic surfaces available, and it’s not difficult to maintain its smooth, even form. Given that it is also non-porous and doesn't have many crevices or grooves, there’s nowhere to facilitate the growth of bacteria and other germs.
So, most of the time, it just needs a simple wipe down and a quick polish to make it shine again.
One further benefit s is that users can rest assured that stainless steel scales will not have a negative effect on their food. Other materials that are harder to clean may retain some harmful substances or particles. But, because of stainless steel’s hygienic properties, it should not contaminate or damage food.
5. Strength-to-weight Advantage
When designing stainless steel products, manufacturers can take its cold-working properties into account and create a steel that is thinner, but still as strong as alternatives. While this may not seem a big deal, it actually makes the end products lighter and, generally, cheaper.
How can stainless steel scales be eco-friendly, you ask? Stainless steel actually has a full life cycle. It’s 100% recyclable, and over 50% of new stainless steel comes from old stainless steel scrap!
Add that to the fact that it is low maintenance, robust and the fact that it’s usually long-lasting, stainless steel is also eco-friendly because it will last for years. That means no throwing out a scale every year or two and buying a new one, which is less waste and damage to the environment.
As we covered in the last point, stainless steel is made to last. If you purchase sturdy stainless steel, you can count on it lasting for a long time. It is incredibly durable and holds its shape well.
Its longevity can actually make it a cheaper choice, because it provides additional cost-saving benefits with its long life cycle. Rather than “buy cheap, buy regularly”, try investing in a long-term solution. Plus, with an optional service contract from Marsden, your stainless steel scale could last even longer.
The low maintenance of stainless steel is what makes it ideal for hospitals and food processing, where good hygiene is a necessity. But, while stainless steel is low maintenance, it’s not maintenance-free. There’s a great article here from Parry about the essential tips for looking after stainless steel, but we will summarise it quickly:
When asked how often stainless steel should be cleaned, they recommended cleaning it as often as it takes to restore it to its original appearance. For everyday cleaning, it should be cleaned with soap or a mild detergent mixed with water. Although they do suggest other options for more challenging problems.
For scratches, most can be removed with a proprietary stainless steel cleaner or a car paint restorer.
9. Resale Value is Preserved Over Time
As stainless steel doesn’t damage easily and can last for many years, it actually maintains its high resale value. It remains in great condition significantly longer than other products and this makes it a fairly safe investment. If it needs to be replaced for a larger or more specific item later on, then it's likely to still get a high sale price.
Stainless steel can be completely waterproof. Ultimately, it depends on the IP rating of the product, such as IP68, IP65, etc. Find out more about IP ratings here.
Waterproof or washdown scales are imperative for many industries, such as breweries. This is because they’re likely to get wet a lot over time, so it’s important that liquid can’t damage the internal components.
11. Dust Resistant
For IP rated scales, the first number in the IP rating relates to an item’s protection to dust. Stainless steel is a great barrier and many of our stainless steel scales are dust resistant. That means if you work on a building site and need to regularly weigh items, but are worried about dust, dirt and shavings getting into your scale and causing damage, you don’t need to worry any longer.
12. Trusted Materials
Stainless steel is already used by countless businesses around the world, who have discovered the benefits of using this alloy. Stainless steel is now synonymous with high-quality and professionalism, so by choosing stainless steel, you know that you’re choosing a reliable material.
13. Wide Variety of Finishes
Although 304 food grade stainless steel is the grade we’ve spoken about the most in this blog post, there’s actually a wide range of stainless steel alloys. Each grade contains a different quantity of elements to provide different properties and make it suitable for different uses.
14. Spoilt for Choice
Because stainless steel is so common nowadays, you’re not going to run into issues finding the exact stainless steel equipment that you want. In fact, stainless steel is so commonplace that you may even be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing your new equipment. This still allows you some flexibility relating to price.
If you can’t find the stainless steel scale that you need, then Marsden also offers bespoke scales as an option. We love a weighing challenge, so please get in touch and let us know your exact requirements.
15. Better Value for Money
We have touched on this before, but stainless steel scales actually offers you a better value for money than other types of scales. Not only do they last significantly longer than mild steel scales, for example, but they'll also maintain their original condition for most of that time. If they're well looked after, you can get many years out of them. There’s not many other scales that can offer you that.
Plus, with all the different stainless steel properties, it has countless uses and can be used in many different scenarios. It doesn’t rust or corrode and is easy to keep clean and maintain.
The real question is, why wouldn’t you choose stainless steel scales?
Choose Marsden Stainless Steel Scales
Marsden stainless steel scales are used by companies throughout the UK and the world, by a range of different industries. We also regularly have discounts on our stainless steel range to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money.
Shop our range today and find the perfect stainless steel scale for your business.
IP ratings can be very confusing, but it’s important to understand them to avoid a costly accident in your workplace. That’s why we’ve put together this useful IP Ratings guide.
So you’re ready to invest in a new scale, but do you need a washdown scale? Find out in this blog post where a washdown scale is relevant for your industry.
Have you heard of Trade Approved scales? Did you know it’s a legal requirement to use Trade Approved scales if you’re selling items based on their weight? Read our full guide to Trade Approved scales here.