Choosing Between 16 and 18 Gauge Stainless Steel Sheet Price

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Selecting 16 and 18 gauge stainless steel sheets requires careful consideration with regard to cost differences, durability/strength requirements and availability at any given time. In addition, other factors should also be taken into account such as quality/safety standards.

Before making a purchase of stainless steel plate gauges, clients should consult the gauge chart. Thinner gauges have higher prices and lower tolerance levels compared to thicker ones.


Stainless steel (SS) is an enduring metal that offers exceptional strength and corrosion resistance, making it a go-to material in construction, machinery, equipment and kitchen appliances. Furthermore, its lightness makes SS easy to work with – cutting it to any size needed is quick and effortless, unlike other metals which may need special tools for handling.

As you consider 16 or 18 gauge stainless steel sheet prices, it is essential that several factors be taken into account. These include the differences in cost between them as well as durability and strength requirements of finished products. Spending the time to consider all these considerations will ensure you select an appropriate gauge without spending more than necessary.

Consideration should also be given to the type of environment the sheet will be exposed to when choosing between 16 and 18 gauge stainless steel sheets. For instance, if it will be used in highly corrosive conditions like swimming pools with chlorine, outdoor applications where salt is used to de-ice roads and highways or marine applications then using 316 grade material – although more expensive – would provide complete rustproof coverage in such settings.

Before purchasing anything made from stainless steel, it’s essential to remember that its thickness is measured using gauges; which are relative rather than absolute measures. Therefore, it is wise to consult the Stainless Steel Plate Gauge Chart so you can accurately gauge its theoretical thickness.

Durability & Strength

Comparable to other metals, stainless steel stands out as being harder and more durable, making it suitable for many different applications. Furthermore, its resistance to corrosion means it can withstand harsh environments like saltwater. Furthermore, stainless steel’s malleability makes it easier to work with than other options, making this versatile metal an invaluable choice in kitchen equipment as well as architectural designs.

Stainless steel is an alloy composed of iron and chromium. The latter contributes to its strength and corrosion-resistance; 18-21% chromium content in most grades of stainless steel provides this benefit, though smelters may lower it or add more nickel to lower costs without altering corrosion-resistance levels or make any difference at the cash register.

The 304 grade of stainless steel is the most frequently used variety and contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel, often referred to as food-grade stainless steel for culinary environments. Furthermore, this grade can easily be welded when heated under an annulled condition making it nonmagnetic allowing safe use even where magnetic forces may be present.

Stainless steel sheets and plates come with various finishes designed to improve their aesthetic appeal and protect their surface from damage. One such finish is polishing, which leaves behind a smooth and shiny surface which adds visual interest as well as being easy to keep clean. Polishing provides the most common option, which also makes this type of metal easier for everyday cleaning tasks.

Brushing stainless steel is another alternative way to finish it, producing a subdued shine with parallel lines that creates an attractive pattern of small parallel ridges and notches. Although not as glossy, brushed finishes tend to be more durable and won’t reveal scratches and dents as easily.

Selecting the appropriate grade of stainless steel for your application is vitally important. When working with corrosive substances, for instance, type 316 stainless steel should be chosen – its highly resistant to corrosion makes it perfect for marine environments as well as medical device construction or surgical tools.

Corrosion Resistance

Corrosion resistance of stainless steels is an integral factor in their suitability for various applications. Corrosion, the natural process by which metals deteriorate due to chemical interactions with their environment, typically taking the form of oxidation. While stainless steels tend to be resistant overall, localized corrosion may still occur depending on environmental conditions such as crack networks associated with stress corrosion cracking and the presence of reducing acids in crevices.

A stainless steel’s ability to withstand these processes depends on its chemical composition, microstructure and thickness. Standard austenitic grades may be susceptible to chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking (SCC), while duplex grades have higher nickel and molybdenum contents that offer greater resistance against SCC.

Stainless steels typically exhibit excellent atmospheric corrosion resistance due to their low oxygen reactivity; however, this resistance can be compromised by contaminants like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, chlorine or hydrogen sulphide present.

Though stainless steels are hardy, durable and strong materials, they must still be treated carefully in order to preserve their corrosion resistance. Selecting the appropriate grade, followed by using fabrication and post-treatment processes designed specifically to maintain this resistance will help protect it in normal atmospheric conditions from corrosion; otherwise corrosion will begin immediately.

Corrosion of material can result in discoloration known as tea staining. This may be caused by extraneous rust or dirt on its surface or pitting corrosion in harsh environments.

Corrosion resistance of stainless steel is essential in many industries, such as food and beverage or pharmaceutical production. Therefore, manufacturers must devote great care in selecting the material suitable for their projects – this requires understanding its strengths and weaknesses as well as conducting tests to make sure it can fulfill specific requirements. Selecting suitable material also can help avoid delays or budget overruns during their project timelines.


Selecting 16 gauge stainless steel sheet requires careful consideration of cost differences and strength and durability requirements, availability at any given time may also play a factor. With some research you may even find sources that offer discounts on both types which makes selecting just one much simpler while providing excellent quality!

Competitive Metals’ extensive inventory of 304 stainless sheet is available in multiple thicknesses and finishes, such as #2B (milled), #4 (brushed), textured, customer specific polish and more. With its weldability, formability and corrosion resistance properties, 304 is one of the most sought-after grades for numerous applications including food and beverage processing equipment, kitchen appliances, utensils, medical hardware marine hardware architectural back splashes.

We stock 316 stainless, which offers enhanced resistance to pitting corrosion in chloride environments. As the perfect marine atmosphere and chemical environment material, 316 is superior to 304. Both grades are limited in inventory but we can custom quote you if the size or finish you require is unavailable.

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