Stainless steel itself is a strong and durable metal with an aesthetic appeal that makes it a preferred choice for different applications. Not only do stainless steel appliances last longer with low maintenance, but they are also resistant to corrosion and enhance the appearance of one’s home.
However, the beneficial properties of stainless steel can be further improved with the addition of a surface finish. Surface finishes can be decorative or non-decorative. Non-decorative finishes are for applications that only require corrosion resistance and maintenance. Decorative finishes, however, have a wide range of applications.
Decorative stainless steel finishes are inexpensive, aesthetically pleasing, functional and durable. They are used in various applications in food processing areas, airports, architectural shop fronts and appliances. Certain textured finishes like the 5WL and 6WL provide a strong scratch-resistant surface, which is ideal for high traffic areas. When textured finishes are used, they increase the longevity of the product, as well as provide lower repair costs in the long term.
A textured or patterned surface has a deducted contact area, which solves the friction problems in food, drink and processing machinery. By applying textured stainless steel, you can not only hide scratching and dents, but you can also break up light patterns. Stainless steel finishes like No.4 satin and Ring Polish are most popular in masking fingerprints and hiding scratches.
Benefits of stainless steel finishes in design:
A large variety of decorative finishes are available on the market. It’s of utmost importance that you find the most suitable one for your application. For highly visible applications, the appearance is a critical design element.
Therefore, if you choose the wrong stainless steel finish, then the intended effect can be changed too. Quality stainless steel finishes are easy to clean. Thereby, making them ideal for hygienic and commercial applications, like in restaurants and hospitals. Catering equipment also requires well-polished stainless steel sheets.
Apart from the visual appearance of polished stainless steel finishes, there are many functional benefits. Polished stainless steel finishes help in reducing the risks of bacteria clinging to the material during its utilisation in sanitary applications.
Although stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, an effectively polished finish is more efficient at resisting corrosion compared to a smooth surface. Therefore, if the stainless steel sheets are being used in aggressive environments, such as nuclear industries or offshore, they will perform better with the right maintenance and cleaning.
The relation between finishes and fabrication:
Certain fabrication tasks, such as grinding before painting or gluing, require a rough surface finish. On the contrary, a smooth and well-finished sheet requires less physical effort than a rough and coarse one when one needs to do the bending. If finishes are hard to recreate manually, then it can lead to fabrication difficulties. Therefore, proper and fine finishes are practical and necessary for stainless steel fabrication worldwide.
Stainless steel suppliers in South Africa offer an extensive range of finishes to their clients. Contact them to determine the perfect finish suited to your application.
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