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How Long Can I Expect Stainless Steel to Last?

So, what should we expect from stainless steel products? Again, it largely depends on the type. For instance, consider the two types of stainless steel used in automotive exhaust systems, Type 409 and 304. Type 409 stainless has a lifespan of about 8 years, while Type 304 has a lifespan of 20 years. If you have steel that is kept in a protective place, it will practically last a lifetime, except that it may need a quick polishing to restore its shine. Some even say that SS can last for thousands of years!

Obviously, the more wear and tear the metal is exposed to, the quicker it may suffer some damage. There are also different types of corrosion, so just because the oxide layer wears down doesn’t mean that the metal will experience a particular type of corrosion. Some oxidation is more aggressive and will burn holes through the metal, while others are less toxic.

While we can’t be certain that stainless steel will last forever, the strength, durability and rust resistance it provides make it the top choice for many applications.

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