Stainless steel is favoured over carbon steel for certain custom metal fabrications designed for commercial and industrial use because of the material's resistance to discolouration and oxidation in the presence of air and water. Unfortunately, there is no metal which is completely impervious to the changes which occur in an uncontrolled environment. In simple terms, stainless steel will remain appealing and structurally sound if there are no harsh ambient conditions. However, if the fabricated stainless steel product is exposed to some adverse surroundings, you will notice the loss of the original shine and other signs of deterioration. If you would like to prevent the discolouration of your custom products, you should consider these simple tips during the fabrication stage.
Choose the Right Alloy
When planning your stainless steel fabrication project, you should evaluate the conditions in which the final product or part will be used. There are different grades of stainless steel available on the modern market. These diverse grades have unique properties which are suited for use in different environments. If you choose the correct one for your future application, you will prevent problems such as discolouration, oxidation and general accelerated degradation. You should note that the common contributing factors to stainless steel discolouration are temperature, salt and chemicals. You should think about the operating temperature of your stainless steel product and its ability to withstand chemicals before commissioning fabrication.
Use Surface Coatings
You should think about using protective surface coatings on your stainless steel products after fabrication to prevent oxidation and discolouration. Typically, these harmful processes occur because the metal interacts and reacts with water, air, salt and other compounds in the surroundings. If you apply a protective coating on the steel, you will prevent its interaction with harmful elements. Consequently, you will prevent unexpected changes such as oxidation and deterioration of the material. You should discuss the best coatings that you can use on your products with your manufacturing company. Also, you should consider other surfaces finishing methods which could preserve the appeal and function of your stainless steel items.
Protect from Adverse Conditions
Finally, you should plan on protecting your stainless steel products from the elements which contribute to discolouration. For example, if it is possible, you should isolate the custom fabricated structure in your commercial or industrial space from water, salt and chemicals. Also, you should establish a maintenance schedule to prevent build-up of these substances which contribute to discolouration. Light washing with clean water and mild soap should preserve the appeal of your stainless steel.