Stainless steel's resistance to corrosion and staining, low maintenance, relatively low cost, and familiar luster make it an ideal base material for many commercial applications.
The alloy is supplied in coils, sheets, plates, bars, wire, and tubing to be used in cookware, cutlery, hardware, surgical instruments, major appliances, industrial equipment e.g. in dairies, and as an automotive and aerospace structural alloy and construction material in large buildings.
Storage tanks and tankers used to transport milk and other food are often made of stainless steel, due to its corrosion resistance and antibacterial properties. This also influences its use in commercial kitchens and food processing plants, as it can be steam-cleaned, sterilised, and does not need painting or application of other surface finishes.