When it comes to corporate image, there is little that exudes sophistication like stainless steel. It’s bright and shiny lustre naturally adds an air of professionalism and displays a strong business stance that other materials lack. But many companies shy away from this durable and very useful material. The demand for stainless steel is increasing at a rate of 5% each year. In 2019, its global production reached over fifty-two million tons as people utilise its attractive looks with its excellent properties.
Stainless steel is steel with the addition of chromium and (mostly) nickel and a few trace elements in appropriate proportions. Those proportions can vary to give different properties within the final alloy material. The term stainless steel is used to describe a family of around two-hundred different alloys of steel with remarkable heat and corrosion resistance properties. The carbon percentage can range from 0.03% to 1.2%, while the chrome and nickel content can vary widely. There are three major types of stainless steel:
These contain only chromium as a major alloying element, and have it present in ranges from 10.5 to 18%.
These too are a plain chromium steel and tend to lack nickel and have chromium present between 12 and 18%.
This is what people think of as a true stainless steel. Generally available in grades of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, this is the most used type and is the one that usually used for things like signage.
Stainless steels are hardwearing and highly corrosion resist and – the austenitic variety in particular – so are great materials for making signs that are either in the office or outside and exposed to the elements.
Stainless steel has always been seen as a premium material and has been neglected as a sign material because of that. Much of its high cost stems from the fact that both chrome and nickel used to be very costly addition to steel, but the massed move to recycling, the prices of these have come down significantly. But many companies are also weighing up the cost against the fact that it will remain maintenance free – other than a quick wipe over every now and then – for many years make stainless steel an excellent choice for the discerning company.
Modern technology has made this tough material easier to work as well. Technology such as laser and high-pressure water cutting have made it much easier to cut out complex shapes easily and without the need for any subsequent working of the edges. Because it can be cut with those computer-controlled tools, any font that suits you and your business. And stainless steel never has a complex and costly finish applied to it, since one of its major selling points is its wonderful texture.
So, with it now being less costly as a raw material, is easier to work and manufacture with, can be cut in a variety of shapes and fonts, and doesn’t require a painted or plated finish, stainless steel is very cost effective for signs.
Why not contact us and find out how we can help you with stainless steel signs.