OK so you want to buy a kitchen sink and all the sinks have these numbers but what do the numbers mean? Could they mean the weight in kgs that you can pile the dishes up before washing them divide by the maximum number days you can leave dirty dishes…. are you also confused? Never fear, here is a very simple explanation.
There are many grades of stainless steel but since we are takling about kitchen sinks here we will deal just with 18/8 and 18/10 which are the two most common grades of stainless steel used for food preparation and dining. They are also known as Type 304 or grade 304 and are part of the 300 series. 18 refers to the amount of chromium present and the 8 or 10 represents the amount of nickel. For example, 18/8 stainless steel is comprised of 18% chromium and 8% nickel.
304 grade stainless steel is also comprised of no more than 0.8% carbon and at least 50% iron. The chromium binds oxygen to the surface of the product to protect the iron from rust. Nickel also enhances the corrosion resistance of stainless steel. Therefore, the higher the nickel content, the more resistant the stainless steel is to corrosion.