Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Which Stainless Steel Finish is Right for You?

There are many different types of stainless steel out there, and they provide a variety of different appearances, looks, and functionality depending on what you need for your project. If you are considering building with steel from Wasatch Steel, one consideration that you should also take into account is what kind of finish you will have on your steel. There are a lot of different choices when it comes to finish and it can impact the surface appearance as well as the steel’s ability to hold up in your environment, so here is a quick guide.

#0 (Zero) Finish
The number zero finish is an unrefined finish for steel and is only used in cases where the steel will be protected so it’s not subject to high levels of erosion, and where the final appearance is not as important.

#1 Finish
Cold-rolled metal is usually finished with a number 1 finish, and can be used as a “final” product if you are planning to have it for an industrial purpose. This leaves the steel looking dull and somewhat unpolished, much different from the stainless steel products that many consumers prefer. The mos common is 1D, a mill finish.

#2 Finishes
Number two finishes are extensively used for a wide variety of different applications. Finishes like 2D are mostly used for industrial applications, but 2B and 2BA are brighter and offer a better surface though still not completely blemish-free. They are still mill finishes, meaning they are standardized but not necessarily consumer-ready.

Other #2 finishes that require a little bit more processing are the mechanically polished and brushed finishes, including:
2G: uniform and one-directional surface with low reflectivity
2J: polished by belts or brushes and used for internal architecture
2K: smooth and reflective surface that is good for architecture, particularly building exteriors
2P: highly reflective and smooth, like a mirror, achieved with buffing and special polishing compounds.

Textured finishes that include designs are:
2M: texturing or design on just one side of the steel
2W: rolled or pressed patterns on both sides of the steel

#3 Finish
When you want a beautiful and complete look you will often use number three finishes, which are ground with abrasives so they have a completely uniform texture and look throughout.

#4 Finish
For products that will hold up under significant wear and tear, a #4 finish is preferred. It doesn’t provide you with the bright, polished “mirror” look of some other steel, but it does include great corrosion resistance. For that reason it’s beneficial for kitchen appliances.

#6, #7, and #8 Finishes
These three higher-level finishes can give you either a satin look (#6), a mirror-like surface from buffing tools (#7) or a completely blemish-free mirror surface (#8) for products that must have the highest level of cosmetic appeal.

Painted Finish
One other option is to get a color finish with paint or other coatings. Products at Wasatch Steel are great for painting because steel can hold color well over a long period of time. If you’re looking for something you can paint, talk to the experts at Wasatch Steel today.

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