Protection of Stainless Steel

Published on Monday 16th April

 

Stainless steel is well known for the following two properties; resistance to corrosion and modest need for maintenance. The corrosion resistance of stainless steel is provided by a thin hardwearing film of a passive but stable chromoxide. This film is inactive, invisible, with extremely adhesive properties and self-repairing so that the steel is given the best possible protection. If the film suffers damage or is removed, it is automatically restored provided the oxygen in the atmosphere is not prevented from reaction with the chrome in the steel. To ensure this it is necessary to clean regularly.

The purpose of the cleaning is to restore the appearance of the original surface, protect against corrosion and ensure hygienic conditions.

The Cleaning procedure

• Start by washing the surface with soap water or a mild cleaning agent.
• Do not forget to rinse off the cleaning agent with pure water.
• As a final step, dry/polish the object using a soft, dry cloth.

In aggressive environments, such as off-shore or maritime environments and bathing or swimming facilities or areas with air born pollutants and high humidity, it is particularly important to ensure regular cleaning to stop the pollutants interfering with the self healing oxidisation process of the steel.

Discolouration

Any spots that may appear on the surface are not caused by the stainless steel, on the contrary they are produced by impurities in the water, air or cleaning agents that are caught in the microscopic pores of the surface.