Wagen housekeeping and kitchen trolleys are made from stainless steel, but why? Why is stainless steel perfect for hotel and kitchen environments?
Stainless steel has been the benchmark for durability since its creation in the very early 1900s. The invention of stainless steel completely changed the way we thought about metals.
Stainless steel revolutionised so many industries: from cooking and cleaning, to automobiles and trucks. But what properties make stainless steel such a desirable material for the hospitality industry?
Its strength and resistance to heat
Stainless steel is remarkably strong given its flexibility. Compared to many other metals, it's easily bent and shaped into many different products.
Some types of stainless steel can also withstand long periods of extreme heat. And don't be fooled, cooking spaghetti on your stovetop doesn't count as 'extreme heat'. Nuclear power stations use stainless steel on applications that can reach temperatures over 500 degrees Celsius.
It is rust-resistant
In the late 1800s, talk of a rust-free metal began to spread. Can you imagine what such an invention would have been like in that era? It's a miracle the inventors weren't tried as witches for creating a non-corrosive metal.
All stainless steel will rust, however. When exposed to constant moisture and oxygen, metals don't stand a chance. However, when stainless steel is properly cared for, very few working environments will corrode it.
Without getting too technical, stainless steel uses a layer of chromium to protect the more delicate inner-metals.
The chromium also acts as a filler when the stainless steel gets scratched or dinged. This is why you can scrub a stainless steel pan with aggressive brushes. Any nicks or scratches will quickly be filled with chromium, preventing rust from forming in the imperfections.
It is sanitary
The food and medical industries (and their customers) depend on a clean and sterile environment. Many other medals can be cleaned just as well when they're new, but stainless steel's longevity and resistance to aggressive cleaning chemicals and tools make it the ideal choice.
The smooth, non-abrasive surface also prevents germs and bacteria from building up inside any cracks or pits in the metal.
It is a poor conductor of electricity
While stainless steel is used primarily because of its strength and rust-resistant properties, the poor conductance of stainless steel is also a benefit. This may not sound like a feature, but when working in construction, manufacturing, or wet areas and other potentially dangerous industries, injury prevention is paramount.
Injuries from electrical shock are very serious and happen all too often. Potentially lethal electrical shock can be mitigated by the stainless steel's poor conducting properties.
It is magnetic
How else would stainless steel refrigerators hold your children's pictures and shopping lists? Actually, much of the stainless steel you see is non-magnetic. However, different combinations of metals can make stainless steel magnetic when it's necessary.
Don't take this amazing material for granted. Plastic trolleys may be lighter and cheaper though the invention of stainless steel has been vital to so many of the inventions we have today.