With stainless steel coming out of the closet, there are more designers using them as accents in modern design. Some of the techniques include using finishing like brushed steel, grinding, and fine steel polishing.
Steel is a metal alloy composed mainly of carbon and iron. Stainless steel is different in that its main alloy is chromium which is the element that prevents corrosion. Aside from being used by big industrial companies, stainless steel is found in many commercial products from kitchen equipment to home and office appliances, schools, hospitals, and restaurants.
Brushed surfaces on stainless steel products is a process wherein the stainless steel is grinded and polished. For design purposes, many add electroplating or coatings for an added sheen or gloss although there are some exquisite designs that use the matte finish. Generating the brush finish is done by using friction to create waves on the metal surface so it looks like it was brushed over.
Grinding is more commonly used as a finish when the design is intricate and complex. There is more flexibility in shaping the stainless steel and then finishing it with a sleek coating of chromium to avoid corrosion.
Finishing is important with stainless steel because it not only prevents rust and corrosion, it can also stop tarnishing, quick wear and tear, and make it easier to solder, wet, and modify the electrical conductivity.
The United States has been one of the pioneers in using stainless steel outside of factories and manufacturing plants. You see architects and contractors using stainless steel as accents for in and outside buildings, houses, and other structures. Stainless steel fabricators only need to add one more step in the process to accommodate special designs. This additional step is a choice of finishing. Everything else remains the same.
For instance, you can choose mechanical finish specifications of #2D which is a dull silver finish to a #8 finish which is a mirror-like finish with customized color buffing, if preferred. With so many choices available, it¡¯s no wonder stainless steel is literally coming out from behind walls and machinery.