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There are many reasons why stainless steel is a popular material among manufacturers and consumers.

It is strong and highly resistant to the elements. It even has a protective film which makes it self-healing! So, if it’s damaged, it regains its corrosion resistance.

This is a metal that defines versatility and that’s why it’s used for numerous applications from making jewellery to architecture. Plus – it looks great! You can also add a variety of finishes to it to create different effects.

In our blog today, we look at three stainless steel finishes and how to get the most from them…

1: 2B – The Natural Finish

2B Is the natural appearance of the sheet, without any processing being used to improve the surface quality. It has a dull grey and very subtly reflective appearance. This finish is not suitable for cosmetic uses.

Ideal for… any application that isn’t visible, or the appearance isn’t important.

Used for…plant and pharmaceutical equipment, plumbing fixtures, sheet metal products and laundry and dryer equipment.

2. The Brushed Finish

There’s an easy way to spot a brushed (also known as dull polished) finish… look for the patterned lines. A typical brushed finish produces a distinctive pattern of fine parallel lines across the surface. This is a great finish if you want to create an attractive and decorative surface that isn’t too reflective. However, due to the grooves in the finish, it is less resistant to corrosion so there is more chance of rust developing.

Ideal for...when appearance is important.

Used for… catering equipment, splash backs, building architecture, jewellery, home appliances, automotive design, storefronts and interiors.

3. The Mirror Finish

The clue is in the title – the mirror finish is highly reflective and leaves you with a great deal of image clarity. It’s a mechanically produced finish that is made by treating the surface with a series of abrasives before buffing for longer than other finishes. It’s a great finish for improving corrosion resistance and getting rid of crevices where corrosive particles can be lodged.

Ideal for…bright, polished and attractive surfaces.

Used for…mirrors, clean rooms, signage and wall panels.

There are many other finishes available to suit a variety of projects. This is simply an introduction to three of the most common.

Remember, at Metals Warehouse, we have over 20 years’ experience of supplying stainless steel to the manufacturing industry. Contact us today and see what we can do for you!