There are many grades of stainless steel available on the market. Many of them are used in medical, surgical, and cosmetic applications. Why is that? Well, stainless steel is strong, tarnish-resistant, and can easily be polished to a beautiful shine. Consequently, most jewelry labeled as hypoallergenic is made with 316L stainless steel. Here at Alliant Metal, we carry a wide range of stainless steel grades for every application and need.
A lot of people struggle with allergies to certain types of metals, the most common being nickel. Therefore, the term hypoallergenic simply means it is “below average” or only “slightly” allergenic to most people. Over time, it just became a popular marketing term. Thus, it’s best to look at the materials within the product itself as the term does not have a specific meaning or rating.
Stainless steel is an alloy made of various elements. A typical grade of stainless steel contains chromium, carbon, and other various elements. The durability and properties of each grade are determined by the percentage of elements added such as nickel, molybdenum, titanium, niobium, or manganese.
Is stainless steel hypoallergenic? Yes and no. It depends on the grade and each individual person’s allergic response to the elements within it. Therefore, it’s best to find alternate materials for your jewelry or cosmetics that are less likely to cause issues.
The most common stainless steel grade used for medical equipment is 316L. The stainless steel grade 316L is simply a low-carbon version of 316 graded stainless steel. Thus, it’s excellent for resisting corrosion from harsh industrial and bodily conditions. Though, despite being a popular choice for jewelry, it does contain 10-13% nickel which can cause issues for some people. So, for those who are very sensitive to certain metals, it’s best to stay away from this type of stainless steel.
From our location in Southern New Hampshire, we have become a nationally renowned metals distributor, known for efficiency and superior service. Thus, whatever type of steel you need for your work, we can help you. Contact Alliant Metals today for more information about our various grades of stainless steel, including 316L stainless steel!