Why Kiwis Should Take a Closer Look at Stainless Steel Products - Heating, Insulation and Ventilation NZ
Why Kiwis Should Take a Closer Look at Stainless Steel Products

Why Kiwis Should Take a Closer Look at Stainless Steel Products

Words by Kelray Outdoor Heating

Based on the name alone, most of us assume that stainless steel is well… unstainable. But what may seem like a straightforward assumption is not the case.

Over the years, slick advertising campaigns have equated stainless steel construction with durability and quality. From cars to kitchen sinks, all kinds of products have used stainless steel to enhance their position in the market. While stainless steel is an excellent material to use in certain products, it is important to realize that – not all stainless steel is created equal.

Stainless steel comes in many different grades. In manufacturing, different grades of stainless steel are used depending on what kind of stresses a particular product or structure must stand up to.

Where problems arise is when the customer assumes a stainless-steel product will stand up to the environment or task in which they need it to perform. Because of this, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the different grades of stainless steel.

The NZ Problem: When your 304 should be 316

In New Zealand, most of our outdoor products and appliances are imported from overseas. These products almost exclusively use 304 grade stainless steel. With most of our major centres coastal, these products quickly become discoloured or corrode in our salt-laden air. This has meant frustratingly short lifespans for outdoor products.

It was this problem that led NZ outdoor heaters manufacturer, Kelray Heating to create their line of infrared heaters. The only local manufacturer of outdoor heaters, Kelray constructed a heater using marine grade 316 stainless steel.

Kelray Heaters were born out of these consumer frustrations with their outdoor appliances”, says Kelray Heating owner, Clive Menkin.

“Our founders recognized that heaters manufactured offshore have a noticeably short product life in NZ. Unfortunately, we are still seeing these issues with many overseas models today.”

“People think they are comparing apples with apples – but this is far from the truth”.

Menkin recognises the challenge of educating the public on the concept that the moniker, “stainless steel construction” does not necessarily equate to durability, in a New Zealand context. However, they have noticed an increasing amount of business owners approaching them and specifically asking for a 316 grade outdoor heating product.

“It has always been Kelray’s mission to let kiwi home and business owners know about the important differences in types of stainless steel. We are now seeing more and more electricians, architects and bar owners seek us out for our marine grade product”.

Menkin’s advice for those looking to purchase any outdoor appliance or product - always query the grade.

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