Choosing Stainless Steel Drains Over Less Expensive Materials
I don’t know about you, but the consistent message that I hear related to construction projects is, “this job is over budget”. I do not envy engineers, because they are constantly dealing with this issue in today’s construction industry. There is a very delicate balance with specifying the “correct” product and specifying something that “will work” or is “the budgetary solution”.
When it comes to sanitary projects such as food processing, pharmaceutical, the beverage industry and others, it is not such an easy decision to say, “We’ll just use a budgetary solution, because it’ll work.” The FDA, USDA and NSF will be watching to ensure the public’s safety is primary over cost. These facilities will have safety inspections until the end of time to ensure it stays that way and if it doesn’t, fines will be levied. The last thing an engineer wants is the responsibility for is specifying the wrong products that leads to future fines for the owner due to health violations that literally spawned from below ground.
What makes stainless steel different and the preferred product for these applications? Stainless steel checks the box for almost anything that you can throw at it. It is heat resistant, corrosion/oxidation resistant, durable, long lasting and best of all it is easy to clean and resists bacterial growth. It is still important to know the chemicals that will be existing in your facilities and reference the corrosion compatibility charts to be certain that stainless steel is the material of choice and if so, should you choose type 304 or type 316L?
Beyond the material alone, an engineer must consider additional factors when selecting the stainless steel drains for their project. Is the drain 100% stainless steel? There are many products out there that only have stainless steel covers, but the bodies are cast iron. This is not going to give you the qualities of a fully stainless product addresses in these facilities.
Are there harborage points for bacterial growth on the finished product due to the methods of production or the design of the product? The most common harborage points for bacterial growth lie in common areas such as flat points in the drain, sharp corners, screws or other materials used for connection purposes, improper welding that leaves cavities, designs on covers that create pools for water/bacteria, etc…
Will the product stand the test of time? Most of these types of facilities have forklift traffic requirements, and not all drains are designed to handle the extreme loading. The last thing you want to happen is install a shiny, new stainless steel drain and run it over once only to see it deflect, because it was not certified for that traffic load.
There is a lot to consider beyond the material alone. Certain industries require a sanitary drainage product that will resist whatever you can throw at it while standing the test of time. Select Kusel stainless steel drains for these projects and feel confident in your decision.
Kusel. Trusted Solutions.