18/10 stainless steel VS 18/8 stainless steel

When it comes to buying stainless steel, you are likely to encounter three major options. These are the 18/10 vs 18/8 vs 18/0 stainless steel types. What is the difference between these types of stainless steel and which one is the best of all?

The key difference between these stainless steel numbers is the percentage of chrome and nickel in them. 18/10 steel means that it has 18% of chrome and 10% nickel. 18/8 means that chrome is 18% while nickel is 8%. 18/0 means that it has 18% chrome and 0% nickel.

It is these differences that determine the properties of these stainless steel. For instance, nickel has a direct impact on the strength and corrosion resistance of the steel metal.

In this article, our attention will be on the 18/10 vs 18/8.

What is 18/10 Steel?

What is 18/10 Steel?

As we have already stated, 18 and 10 are the percentages of chromium and nickel that are added to the stainless steel. It has 0.1% of carbon which is added to make the steel harder.

The carbon content is low because this material can corrode and rust with ease.

This steel is a common feature in the kitchen. Most cookware and utensils are made out of this type of steel.

There are three distinct features of 18/10 that make it different from other types of steel.

First, this steel is easy to mold. The steel can be molded into different shapes with minimal resistance. This will have an impact on the price of the utensils and cookware. They will be relatively cheaper since the manufacturing process was not that involving.

Secondly, 18/10 stainless steel has a high resistance to corrosion. It can be used for holding acidic liquids and other chemicals without undergoing any impact of corrosion. This feature is essential to different food products as they tend to contain chemical elements that can easily corrode other types of metals.

The third feature of this type of stainless steel is the high affinity to heat. 18/10 can withstand extremely high temperatures without undergoing any physical or structural damage.

This stainless steel also has a high content of nitrogen. This feature makes it ideal for the marine environment so that it is resistant to saline conditions.

It is also resistant to caustic chemicals. Such chemicals include soda and they are commonly used for cooking. The fact that it does not react easily with chemicals means that the food won’t lose its original flavor.

The main problem with 18/10 stainless steel is the cost. This type of stainless steel is relatively costlier than 18/8 steel.

Corrosion Resistance of 18/10 Stainless Steel

18/10 has better resistance to corrosion than the 18/8 stainless steel. This means that it can easily survive in different sets of harsh environments. However, crevice corrosion can occur when used in an environment that has high levels of chloride. On the other hand, stress corrosion can occur when the temperature is over 60°C.

Heat Resistance of 18/10 Stainless steel

This steel has excellent resistance to heat and oxidation. It can service up to 870°C and be used continuously up to 925°C

Applications of 18/10 Stainless Steel

-Kitchen equipment/kitchenware

-Wheel covers

-Storage tanks

-Automotive moldings and trims

-Electrical enclosures

What is 18/8 stainless steel?

This is a steel alloy that contains 18% chromium and 8% Nickel. Like other types of steel, the primary role of nickel is to improve the corrosion resistance property of the steel.

There are a dozen of other elements that exist in this steel only that they are in very small proportions.

Heat resistance 18/8 of stainless

Stainless steel 18/8 has excellent heat resistance. It can resist oxidation up to the temperatures of between 870 degrees Celcius and 925 degrees Celcius.

However, it is not advisable to use this steel continuously under high temperatures. This is because its surface may be compromised exposing it to some elements of corrosion. You should consider using 18/10 for high-temperature applications.

Fabricating 18/8 stainless steel 

Fabricating 18/8 stainless steel requires that you choose specials tools that are specifically dedicated to stainless steel. The work surfaces must be completely cleaned before you proceed with the fabrication.

This is done to avoid any form of contamination which can reduce the quality of the steel.

The corrosion resistance of stainless steel 18/8

There is no doubt that 316 stainless steel performs well when it comes to resisting corrosion. It can resist different corrosive elements or when used in a corrosive environment.

In fact, this steel is sometimes categorized under marine grade steel due to its corrosive resistance property. However, this does not imply that it is 100% perfect. Warm seawater can have an abrasive effect on the surface of this steel metal.

Cracking and stress corrosion can also happen on this steel when the temperature is above 60 degrees Celcius.

Cold working and hot working of 18/8 stainless steel

18/8 stainless steel can be readily broken and formed into different parts. It is also well-curated for stamping, drawing, and heading. Cold working helps to increase the strength of 18/8 stainless steel metal.

Hot-working can also be used on 18/8 stainless steel. However, it should not be done for the temperature below 927°C. The most recommended temperature is between 1149 °C-1260 °C.

Applications of 18/8 Stainless Steel

-Marine parts

-Outdoor enclosures

Pharmaceutical equipment

-Chemical equipment

Summary of 18/10 vs 18/8 Stainless Steel

18/10 Stainless Steel 18/8 Stainless Steel
Chromium 16 Nickel 10% Molybdenum 2% Chromium 18% Nickel 8%

-Stronger than 18/8

-Very high corrosion resistant

-Resistant to salt and water

-Resistant to caustic chemicals

-Suitable against pitting


Corrosion resistance

-Less heat sensitive than 302

-Stronger than most mild steel

Cons Cons
-Vulnerable to saltwater corrosion

-Requires special tools for machining

-Requires special tools for machining

-Vulnerable to water

Whichever type of stainless steel that you are planning to use, always involve experts. This is why we at Roche industry are always ready to help you with everything that entails either 18/10 or 18/8 stainless steel.

Related source links:

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304 vs. 316 stainless steel: What are the Differences?

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Surgical Steel vs Stainless Steel: What are the Differences?



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