What Stainless Steel Is Magnetic?

Stainless steel is a great material choice for all kinds of jobs and applications. Lots of people always wonder what stainless steel is magnetic and there’s really only two grades that are. Every grade of stainless steel is not made equally. There are several families of stainless steels with very different physical/composition properties. A basic stainless steel has a “ferritic” structure and is magnetic due to adding chromium, which accounts for its shine. It can then be hardened by adding carbon.

The most popular stainless steels have a higher chromium content and even have nickel added. The nickel itself is the material that modifies the physical structure of the steel and makes it non-magnetic.

There are 2 grades of stainless steel that are magnetic:

1. 304 Stainless Steel

304 stainless steel contains chromium and nickel. This kind of grade is magnetic and is commercial and food-grade. Lots of our customers use our 304 grade stainless steel sheets in kitchens, marine settings, food trucks, and restaurants. The typical gauges that are used on the field are 22GA and 24GA, with 24GA being the most popular. We recommend going with 22GA when you can anticipate more wear and tear and just want something more sturdy. 304 is the most affordable in comparison to 316.

2. 316 Stainless Steel

316 stainless steel is an alloy steel that is less magnetic than the 304 grade. 316 is generally meant for harsher environments as well. In terms of cost, this will be more expensive than 304. If anyone is looking to install a magnetic stainless steel sheet, we recommend going with 304 especially if you are using it in a food or kitchen setting.

Overall, 304 and 316 are the only stainless steel grades that are magnetic. If you are looking for that aspect, these are the perfect materials for you. Both offer great protection from corrosion, with 304 being the most cost effective and industry-standard for food.

Not sure what grade or gauge to go with? Contact us today if you are trying to find the right material or sizing for your project.

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