The finish of any stainless steel product is extremely important, when choosing this material for decorative or functional purposes. On the other hand, when the stainless steel part is used in the interior of a machine or component, the finish may have a direct impact on the productivity of the application. If the surface of the steel is rough, it may cause friction and lower the productivity. The finish also has implications on the wear and tear, maintenance, and other such factors.
For example, finished products manufactured for the food and beverage industry or other sanitary applications need to be polished well. This allows the surface to be cleaned effectively and discourages the growth or retention of bacteria.
Although there are many types of stainless steel finishes, the below-mentioned three are the basic types of finishes. It is understood that the finish of a product will depend on the application.
Mill finish can be a hot or cold rolled process where mills are used to polish stainless steel. This process produces a matte finish. This process can also be used to prepare the surface for a superior finish.
This process uses both wet and dry products to effectively polish stainless steel. Oil can be used in the wet medium for polishing, whereas fiber brushes or belts with a gritty side can be used as dry mediums for polishing. This finish is coarse. The surface is mechanically polished to allow several other polishing procedures to be performed.
This finish is generally used when the stainless steel surface cannot be milled or mechanically polished. This process provides a smooth finish with an option of dull or satin polish. A special finish can be used to polish decorative items or fabricated parts. The commonly used special finishes are the Ra #4 Satin and #8 Mirror finishes.
The benefits of stainless steel finishes go beyond the aesthetic appeal of the equipment. A well-polished surface will ensure that no product is trapped in surface cervices. The smooth functioning of a product is vastly dependent on the finish of the product.