Surface Finishing Options for Various Steel Types

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Surface Finishing Options for Various Steel Types

finishing options steel types

There are a few parts of the steel manufacturing process that are important, and one of these is the finish that’s used. Metal finishing involves treating the exterior of that product with some kind of augmented material (or removal thereof), and each of the common types of steel has multiple different finishing options available depending on the project need.

At Wasatch Steel, we happily offer steel sheet, steel bar and other steel products to clients, and we’re happy to discuss important concepts like finishes and many others to meet your needs. Here’s a brief primer on why finishing is important to consider for your steel products, plus a look into the available finishing options for each of the four common types of steel out there.

Why Steel Finishing is Vital

Firstly, for those new to the steel industry, it’s important to understand why finishes are so important with steel products. Steel finishing allows your product to resist corrosion and rusting better, as well as providing a more visually attractive finish for clients who need that extra bit of cosmetic flair.

It also helps protect users from any potential harm the unfinished material could pose – like sharp edges or hot surfaces. Lastly, it can even help increase the longevity of a product by providing an extra layer of protection from wear and tear.

The kinds of finishes available will vary based on the sort of steel you’re working with. Our next several sections will look at each of them individually.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is one of the most popular types of steel to use in projects because of its immense durability and strength. It’s also known for being especially corrosion and rust resistant. As such, it’s important that you pick the right finish for your product so it can reach its full potential.

For stainless steel products, the finishes available are typically seen as either mechanical or chemical processes – often with a combination of both being used. The most common mechanical processes include brushing, polishing, sandblasting, and honing. Chemical processes involve cleaning the steel with either acidic or alkaline-based solutions.

Galvanized Steel

This type of steel is coated with a layer of zinc which helps protect it from corrosion and rusting. However, in order to make sure that the steel’s protective layer remains intact and that the product looks its best, a special finish is usually applied.

The most common finishes for galvanized steel include paint, electroplate coating, powder coatings and anodizing. The type of finish used is typically dependent on what sort of aesthetics and protection the customer needs for their particular project.

When considering a finish for galvanized steel, it’s important to keep in mind that the zinc coating can sometimes be damaged by certain materials. As such, it’s best to avoid finishes like acidic solutions or sandblasting when possible.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel products are often finished with a thin layer of oil or wax and then covered with a protective coat. This helps protect the steel from oxidation, as well as giving it a more even and aesthetically pleasing look.

Other common finishes for carbon steel include various paints and coatings to increase their resistance to corrosion. You can also opt for a hot-dipped galvanization finish if you need an extra layer of protection – although this may not be necessary for most projects.

Dipped Steel

Also known as hot-dipped steel, this type of steel is coated with a thin layer of zinc to help protect it from corrosion and rusting. This type of finish is typically used in construction and other exposed environments where the steel needs extra protection against harsh weather conditions.

Now, this form of steel is similar to galvanized steel, but differs in the fact that the zinc is applied to the steel while it’s still hot. This allows for a thicker, more even layer of zinc – which helps give your product more protection against corrosion and rusting.

The most common finishes used with this type of steel are painting or powder coating for aesthetics and additional weather-resistant protection. You can also use a galvanization finish to further increase the steel’s resistance to corrosion.

No matter what kind of steel you’re working with, it’s important to consider the type of finish that will best suit your project needs and help protect the product. Each of the finishes discussed here can help provide some form of protection for your steel and make sure that it looks its best.

At Wasatch Steel, we specialize in providing quality steel products and services – so if you need help picking the right finish for your project, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d be more than happy to help!