Stainless steel is a steel alloy that does not corrode or rust. It is an alloy that will contain Iron, Chromium, and Nickel. Stainless steel comes in several varieties which vary based on their composition. 400 series stainless is magnetic and is graded as sheet iron in our yard. The most common form of non-magnetic stainless steel is 304. Other varieties of stainless, such as 316, contain more nickel than 304 and will be worth more per pound. Typically, the higher the nickel content, the higher the price. If you know you have a higher grade of stainless than 304, bring it to the scale operator’s attention so he can give you the right price.
Stainless steel can be bought as either clean or contaminated. For Stainless to be graded as clean it cannot contain contamination of any kind, including steel, plastic, insulation, or even other non-ferrous metals like brass, copper or aluminum.
Breakage is non-ferrous scrap that contains up to 30% contamination. Breakage items will contain more contamination than we can buy as contaminated aluminum for example, but not so much contamination that it has to be bought as sheet iron. Some of the more common breakage items we buy at our yard are power tools, power packs clipped off of insulated copper wire, lawn chairs with wood or plastic attachments, and A/C pumps. Alternators and Starters are also considered breakage, but they are worth a few cents more per pound than standard breakage. Transformers that contain copper windings are also worth more than standard breakage, while transformers with aluminum windings will be graded as standard breakage. The same principle applies to electric motors; the ones with copper windings are worth more than standard breakage. Light ballasts are also considered breakage, but they are worth less than standard breakage.