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Consumer Caution Urged Around Stainless Steel Outdoor Products In NZ

Press Release – Kelray Heating

Stainless steel construction has long been an indicator of quality in the minds of consumers. Decades of marketing campaigns have solidified the association that stainless steel equals quality. With the word stainless in the name, it is …

Stainless steel construction has long been an indicator of quality in the minds of consumers. Decades of marketing campaigns have solidified the association that stainless steel equals quality. With the word “stainless” in the name, it is unsurprising that this connection is established.

But this popular alloy is very much “stainable” and every day Kiwi consumers purchase products thinking they are something that they are not.

“Not all stainless steel is created equal”, explains Clive Menkin, owner of outdoor heater manufacturer, Kelray Heating. “Varying grades of stainless-steel means one product is considerably less durable than another, even though both are labelled as having stainless steel construction”.

The most common stainless steel is 304 grade. While this is sufficient in withstanding corrosion in some environments, it is susceptible to rust in saline environments – like coastal cities. New Zealand is a nation of coastal settlements. This means 304 grade products deteriorate quickly when used outdoors.

“Most of the outdoor products available to Kiwis are made overseas using 304 grade”, says Menkin. “This is a cheaper material which, though it may be sufficient in more inland cities, it loses its lustre and may stain in our salt-heavy air”.

Kelray’s NZ outdoor heaters use 316 grade stainless steel. 316 is like 304 but includes the addition of molybdenum. Molybdenum drastically enhances corrosion resistance in saline exposed environments.

“The problem is, consumers, believe they are comparing apples with apples”, says Menkin. “You need to query the grade of stainless steel, before purchasing a product for outdoor use”.

“Many of these products being made overseas are not made with New Zealand conditions in mind”.

Kelray Heaters have been manufacturing outdoor heaters in NZ for over a decade and seeing more and more customers approach them for their marine grade construction.

“A lot of people come to us after a bad experience with outdoor heaters that have discoloured or corroded over a relatively short period”, says Menkin. “It is our goal in 2021 to get our product known by kiwis before they are disappointed with 304 grade heater”.

Kelray’s range of infrared radiant patio heaters are available to purchase via their website and can be shipped throughout New Zealand.

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