Why Stainless

Stainless Steel (Gibson)
Stainless Steel
Hot Dip Galvanized
Hot Dip Galvanized
Zinc Plated
Zinc Plated

Note: Results after 4-week salt spray test.


In areas where corrosion is a concern, stainless steel is often the choice. Stainless steel has a much greater resistance to rust and corrosion than standard carbon steels and greater resistance than coated steels such as hot dip galvanized or zinc plated. The life of stainless steel in a corrosive environment can be 10 to 20 times, or more, longer than carbon steels or iron. One of the reasons for enhanced corrosion resistance is the addition of certain elements. The term "stainless steel" is typically used to describe steel which has chromium added. Chromium contents give stainless a "self-healing" property. When the surface is scratched or nicked, a microscopic protective oxide film forms on the exposed areas to help protect against further penetration of corrosive elements.

The 300 series of stainless contains the two grades of stainless steel that are most often used in the electrical and mechanical industries: Type 316 SS and Type 304 SS. The 300 series of stainless has the addition of nickel and, in the case of 316 SS, the addition of molybdenum. With the addition of molybdenum, Type 316 SS becomes more corrosion resistant.

The addition of these elements is also the reason that stainless steel costs more. Over the past few years, these elements have fluctuated in the following ranges:

Chromium $ .60 - $2.00/lb.
Nickel $7.50 - $12.00/lb.
Molybdenum $25.00 - $38.00/lb.

It is easy to see how the addition of these elements drives up the initial cost.

Total cost of a product, however, must take into consideration the life of a product. While stainless steel products may cost more initially, the long life and the savings over reinstallation of inferior products may make stainless steel cost far less. Reinstallation costs become an even greater concern in hazardous or dangerous locations where accessibility is a problem.


Gibson Stainless offers threaded rigid conduit and fittings which eliminate extensive installation procedures. These conduit systems can be installed using ordinary hand tools and require very little maintenance or repair.


Aside from its corrosion resistance, stainless steel has an aesthetic appeal as well. Gibson Stainless products are provided in a bright, polished finish and do not require any maintenance such as touch up or painting. This bright, polished finish can remain intact for a long period of time.

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