What Options Exist for Stainless Steel Finishes?

April 18, 2019 3:01 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Stainless steel is among the most common materials you’ll find used in the worlds of industrial and commercial fabrication because of how strong, durable and versatile it is. It is also very popular because of the wide variety of finishes available, which allow you to give your finished product just about any appearance you desire.

The type of finish you choose will depend primarily on what you’ll be using the product for. You’ll notice at the hardware store that there are often finishes that come in brushed, shiny and mirrored options, among others. Each finish available has different levels of porosity, which could potentially affect the longevity of the metal you use. So, if you’re going to be placing the metal item outside, for example, it makes sense to go with a glossier finish with lower porosity so the metal does not get exposed to moisture and the elements.

If you have a large-scale fabrication job coming up and need help determining which type of stainless steel finish you’ll use for your parts, you can work with a steel construction company in Indiana to determine exactly what type of finish makes the most sense for your product.

Your stainless steel options

When you first get your stainless steel directly from the mill, it will feature a hot rolled finish, which is basically a natural metal finish. It looks exactly what you’d imagine metal would look like—it is neither shiny nor glossy, and is neither mirrored nor brushed. It is simply metal in its initial state. A traditional kitchen sink, for example, often comes in this kind of metal.

If the metal was fabricated with a cold rolling process, it might have a duller, matte finish. It will appear a bit grainier than hot rolled metal, and will typically be less expensive than hot rolled metal. This kind of finish is usually used for projects that primarily need the strength and durability of stainless steel but where the aesthetics of a high-end finish are not necessary.

In addition to the types of finish names you’d find in hardware stores for stainless steel items, there are also numerical indicators. For example, #2B and #2D are cold rolled metal with a dull finish, while #3 and #4 are hot rolled metal with a nicer finish that makes them better for use in projects where appearance is more important. You can also find #10 stainless steel, which is hot rolled metal that almost resembles a mirror and will go through some polishing processes when manufacturing is done. The numbers between #3 and #10 work as a sort of sliding scale of exactly how glossy the finish is.

Which type of finish is going to be the best for your application? This really depends on where the project is located, the presence of moisture, your preferences for appearance and your needs for durability and strength. For more information about how you can choose the best stainless steel finish for your product, contact Benchmark Fabricated Steel today to discuss steel construction in Indiana.

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