Over the years I have acquired several grades and sizes of (straight-sided) stainless steel storage containers - some from India and some from US (origin unknown). My expectation had always been that these containers would endure, however, several have not. The symptom is always the development of a vertical crack in the side of the container. Those with lids tend to crack near the top edge and over the excess band running around the perimeter upon which the lid lip would rest when set upon the container. The net with these is an un-rounding of the shape of the container and a cumbersome fit for the lid. Most recently I found a prominent crack in another container. This one with a rolled lip and no lid, and normally used to store utensils on the counter top. It had no defects before I used it to brew yogurt and then store in the refrigerator.
Its' crack developed also vertically along the sidewall near it's upper third but well below the lip. The others may too have spent time in the 'fridge, or otherwise exposed to cold, and or acid - eg salty pickle juice.

Now, while disappointing I'd like to avoid future failures and narrow the source of the problem down to quality, handling, or simply expectations.

Any solid knowledge or matched experiences welcomed.

  • All I know is that my Oma warned to never, ever process or keep salty or acidic foods in steel containers (or any other alloy that involved iron) because it would "fatigue" the metal. It is possible that this is why she told me that. I never experimented to find out what would happen.
    – Shalryn
    Apr 30 '16 at 21:31
  • Some pics of the cracks/containers would be helpful. May 1 '16 at 18:33
  • Stainless containers are punch pressed: youtube.com/watch?v=YqTYTHdsFao That puts a lot of vertical stress on the container sides. To avoid cracks, I'd get the container's with the thickest top edge. That'll give you the thickest container walls too. Jun 12 '18 at 2:14

Stainless steel, as you would know, is an alloy with more than 80 percent iron, with chromium and nickel being the other components. Chromium brings shine and nickel brings elasticity to stainless steel.

Nickel is a costly alloy, it costs 20 times iron - and hence most low-grade stainless steel is made from zero to 2 percent nickel, when it should ideally be 8 percent for a good grade.

When buying stainless steel you can see the grades are marked on it. A mark of 18/8 (18 parts of chromium and 8 parts of nickel) is considered a good grade which will normally not crack.

I hope I was of help

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.