The Best Type of Stainless Steel for Preserving Your Dried Products
After a lot of expensive studies, experts agree that stainless steel is the best material for preserving the freshness of stored dried products. Stainless steel provides the highest level of protection against air, moisture and light. But there isn’t just one type. Choosing the best stainless steel for storage depends on the contents to be stored.
Stainless steel has been the go-to choice for appliances and workplaces for decades. Stainless steel is typically categorized as one of five types, and each type has specific and unique qualities. Stainless steel is easy to clean, and when used in combination with a well-constructed container, it has proven to be an excellent protector against elements that are likely to shorten the life of tobacco, flower, spices and more.
Stainless Steel Differences
The five main categories of stainless steel include austenitic, ferritic, martensitic, duplex and precipitation hardening (PH). Various grades and types fall into each category.
The most common type of stainless steel is austenitic. This type has a high chromium content, which helps to extend the life of the stainless steel even when it’s exposed to the elements, including air and moisture. Austenitic stainless steel is also non-magnetic. The most common type of austenitic stainless steel is grade 304 because it’s the most versatile. It can withstand high temperatures and other extreme elements. Products made from austenitic stainless steel last for a very long time.
Ferritic stainless steel has strong magnetic properties and tends to be the least expensive type. It’s not as strong as austenitic steel, but is still considered useful in many applications including kitchen utensils and industrial equipment.
Martensitic stainless steel is similar to ferritic. This type of stainless steel is more likely to corrode when exposed to elements but exhibits the highest level of hardness and strength. Martensitic stainless steel is able to better withstand corrosion when it’s partnered with a protective coating. It also resists corrosion from food compounds so it is often used in silverware, knives and other kitchen products.
Duplex stainless steel is roughly 50% ferritic and 50% austenitic, which makes it stronger than either of its components and resistant to stress corrosion cracking. Duplex stainless steel is magnetic but not to the same degree as ferritic, martensitic and PH grades because of the half austenitic composition.
Precipitation hardening (PH) steels are often combined with other elements to make it even stronger, like copper and aluminum. PH steels tolerate the heating processed used to create more detailed shapes, as opposed to the more common hardening process used to mold martensitic steels where distortion can be an issue.
Stainless Steel for Product Preservation
Many stainless steel products are created to maintain the integrity dried goods, but austenitic grade 304 is the very best for this application. The benefits of storing flower buds, spices and other dried plant materials in grade 304 food-grade stainless steel are numerous.
Grade 304 stainless steel containers protects the contents from heat, moisture and other elements that could affect the taste, smell or potency of the product. This type of stainless steel is especially resistant to corrosion, which means you can easily clean the inside and outside of the storage for repeated use over time.
The main benefit to storing plant materials in grade 304 stainless steel is a better taste for a longer length of time. It’s the best storage choice to preserve a consistent taste and quality over time. While containers made of plastic and glass can provide some of these benefits, stainless steel offers an unmatched level of protection for the delicate moisture balance needed for storing tobacco and flower. Stainless steel ensures the product will not dry out over time, and it will be protected from added moisture from humidity, condensation and other sources.
An airtight grade 304 stainless steel container offers protection that guarantees your product will stay fresh for a longer period. If you want your contents to taste and smell as it did the day it was stored, keep it in air-tight, food-grade stainless steel.
CVault: The Best Stainless Steel Storage Option
We chose grade 304 stainless steel for the CVault because of its unique abilities to protect and preserve plant materials. The air-tight design provides standard protection, but the use of 304 food-grade austenitic stainless steel in the construction ensures a longer shelf-life for dried materials.