Choosing the Right Finishing Technique
Stainless steel finishing can be a complex to solve. There are many different types of surface finishes and profiles that may be required. If you’re feeling stuck and unsure where to turn, the experts at Kramer Industries have broken down the basics of the most popular stainless steel finishes.
One of the three most common stainless steel finishes is matte. A matte or mill finish, as it is known, means that the metal is left with a dull appearance. This is typically used for non-aesthetic results, or when the parts are not immediately visible. For non-machined metals, this finish is produced by “cold rolling” stainless steel. This method provides a smoother and less pitted surface. It is then softened and de-scaled in acid solution. Finally, the steel is polished on rolls to enhance its smoothness. Typical uses for matte finish include chemical plant equipment, pharmaceutical equipment, paper mill equipment, and sewage equipment.
Brushed finishes can vary from supplier to supplier, even batch to batch, and in different manufacturing conditions. Brushed finishes produce a distinctive muted look with a pattern of parallel, directional lines. While offering an aesthetic appeal, it isn’t too reflective but usually has some brightness. Some drawbacks of brushed stainless steel finishes are that corrosion resistance is reduced and the grooves are susceptible to rust. Created by sanding the steel in one direction, this process is used for jewelry, home appliances, architecture, and automotive design.
Highly reflective mirror finishes are created by polishing stainless steel. This process enhances both the appearance and the consistency of the finish, making cleaning the surface easier, while masking the after-effects of welding.
Stainless steel mirror finishes are created by treating the surface with a series of progressively finer and finer abrasives. A rolling procedure is used to simulate the appearance of mechanical abrasion. During this stage, it is crucial to remove deep scratches. Any defects will be noticeable. The final task involves buffing the surface to create a reflective finish. Mirror finishes are popular because they improve corrosion resistance of wall panels, clean rooms, and reflectors of all kinds.
If you need assistance with your stainless steel finishing project, look no further than the professionals at Kramer Industries. Whether you are looking to get matched with the right equipment or need to outsource work, our team will help you finish the project right. When you need to finish something, start with Kramer Industries.