The finish of stainless steel refers to the appearance of the material’s surface after processing. Some finishes are smooth and shiny, creating a mirror-like effect. Others can feature a grain pattern that adds texture to the surface. The choice of finish is largely dependent on blueprint specifications and specific applications. Here are some examples where stainless steel with a grain finish is used:
Heavy Traffic Areas
Because stainless steel is so strong, it can resist wear-and-tear damage for a long time. Plus, the dull sheen created be the grain finish is less reflective. That’s why it is commonly found in areas that see a lot of pedestrian use, such elevators and stairwells.
Stainless steel with a grain finish can enhance the aesthetic of a manufacturing environment while offering protection for employees who may work with hazardous machines or chemicals. Because the grain finish creates a porous surface, it is not effective at preventing bacteria growth, rendering this type of stainless steel inadequate for food or chemical production. However, it is often used in these facilities as protective panels and other safety equipment because it is not easily damaged.
For commercial machinery applications where bacteria and associated health risks are not a concern, grain-finished stainless steel can be used. In fact, it’s the ideal material for such applications because it is remarkably durable, cleans up easily, and will not damage the product.
Residential & Commercial Construction
Stainless steel has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and effectively resists rust and corrosion, making it ideal for constructing new homes and commercial buildings. The grain finish helps to dull the surface, reducing glare in outdoor spaces and interior rooms that are exposed to direct sunlight. Plus, its decorative appearance enhances aesthetics and requires little maintenance over time.
How the Grain Finish Is Applied
The brushed-like appearance of stainless steel grain finish is created when the steel comes into contact with an abrasive belt or wheel. The grain can either be short or long. Short grain consists of short, interrupted lines that are a result of intermittent contact with an abrasive belt. Long grain has a consistent pattern of straight lines, created by contact with a locked abrasive wheel, and is popular in applications where aesthetics are at a premium. Both short- and long-grain finishes can be applied to sheet and pipe.
Types of Grain-Finished Stainless Steel
Stainless steels #3 and #4 have a grain-finished surface and are commonly used in commercial, industrial, and residential applications because they resist wear-and-tear damage and maintain their unique appearance for years on end. The ability to perfectly process these materials and deliver them in a timely manner is essential for professional metal fabricators to attain success in a crowded industry.
Fabricating Stainless Steel
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