The Differences between 304 and 316 Stainless Steel
- Price: The price of 304 stainless steel is around 15,000 to 20,000 yuan per ton, while the price of 316 stainless steel exceeds 20,000 yuan. Therefore, 316 stainless steel is more expensive than 304 stainless steel.
- Performance: Stainless steel is primarily composed of iron, followed by elements like carbon, chromium, nickel, etc. However, different types of steel have varying proportions of these components. 304 stainless steel is the most common type and is known for its acid resistance, alkali resistance, and high-temperature resistance (up to 800°C). It performs well in kitchen processing and hot working. However, for certain specific foods such as carbonated beverages, milk, coffee, etc., 304 stainless steel may rust and show signs of aging. On the other hand, 316 stainless steel has added molybdenum to the base of 304 stainless steel, which enhances its corrosion resistance. As a result, it is suitable for handling any food and has a longer lifespan.
- Applications: 304 stainless steel is food-grade and widely used in various household items such as cookware, bowls, spoons, pots, water cups, and cutlery. On the other hand, 316 stainless steel belongs to medical-grade stainless steel and is mainly used in medical instruments, food processing, and mechanical fields, making it less commonly seen in household use
The Problem with Disposable Kitchenware
- Large consumption of resources. Take disposable chopsticks as an example, our country’s forest coverage is only 16.55%, which is a big exporter of disposable wooden chopsticks. Disposable chopsticks industry in the northern part of China alone exports 15 billion pairs of wooden chopsticks and 1.3 million cubic meters of consumables to Japan and South Korea every year, which is equivalent to a reduction of 2 million cubic meters of forest stock, thus greatly reducing the results of our country’s afforestation.
- Environmental pollution. Taking disposable lunch containers as an example, disposable foamed tableware uses a large amount of ozone-depleting substances as blowing agents in the production process, thus jeopardizing the ozone layer. At the same time, the degradation cycle of lunch boxes made of styrene is extremely long, and it is difficult to be completely degraded in an ordinary environment for about 200 years.
- Hygiene Concerns. Disposables as fast moving consumer goods, its low price is often accompanied by poor quality counterparts, chaotic market status is difficult to ensure product quality. Due to low entry thresholds, lax supervision, lack of strict hygiene standards and an effective market supervision system, producers are of varying standards, and poor-quality, low-priced disposables flood the market, laying hidden dangers for the public’s health.
Therefore, for the sake of their own health and safety and the entire ecological environment, minimize the use of such disposables.