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1. What is 'multiple certification'?

This is where a batch of steel meets more than one specification or grade. It is a way of allowing melting shops to produce stainless steel more efficiently by restricting the number of different types of steel. The chemical composition and mechanical properties of the steel can meet more than one grade within the same standard or across a number of standards. This also allows stockholders to minimise stock levels.

For example, it is common for 1.4401 and 1.4404 (316 and 316L) to be dual certified – that is the carbon content is less than 0.030%. Steel certified to both European and US standards is also common.

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