Commercial and Consumer Grade Stainless Steel Shelving: Know The Differences

When people think of steel shelving, they usually assume it is the same. However, that’s not the case. Those familiar with consumer and commercial grade stainless steel shelving, know that there are many differences between the two. While being made for vastly different purposes, there are many other differences that go into what the shelving can and cannot withstand.

Metal Composition

The biggest difference between commercial and consumer grade stainless steel shelving involves the way various components used in making the metals are mixed together. Generally, if one property of the metal such as its strength or durability are heightened or lessened, another property such as its resistance to corrosion or its magnetic properties are decreased. In doing so, the shelving can then be designed for use in various industries or for numerous consumer needs. These can include making such items as jewelry or kitchen sinks all the way to steel box shelving used in warehouses or manufacturing facilities.

Commercial and Consumer Grade Stainless Steel Shelving: Know The Differences

Numerous Variations

What is most surprising when looking at the differences between these two types of steel shelving is the number of variations that are used in creating them. As of now, there are more than 150 combinations of properties that can be used to create steel shelving for commercial applications. However, while this type of shelving must be able to withstand harsh chemicals or extremely heavy loads, consumers often get a much different type of steel. In most cases, consumer steel shelving is made from one of only 15 different variations. This is due to the fact that makers of consumer shelving know customers are much more interested in how the shelving will look in their homes or offices, and also realize this shelving will be used for mainly light-duty jobs.

Making the Cut

Along with the various properties used to create the steel, another major difference between commercial and consumer steel shelving is the cut. Generally, commercial grade steel shelving is cut much thicker than consumer shelving due to the applications for which it will be used. When commercial steel is cut, it’s done so in larger sheets that can withstand greater weights and be more resistant to getting bent or dented. On the other hand, steel used for consumer shelving is often much thinner and delicate, since it is expected to see far less hazardous duty in a household. For the most part, consumer grade steel shelving is made to look as good as possible in order to get consumers to purchase the products.

While commercial grade stainless steel shelving is used in such industries as food service, automotive, retail, healthcare, education, manufacturing, and many more, consumer steel shelving is used in almost as many applications. Despite the variations in their compositions and ways in which they will be used, both types are known for their durability and adaptability to various work and home environments. As technology continues to produce more innovations, it’s expected both consumer and commercial grade steel shelving will benefit from the changes.

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