Tips and Suggestions
Note:Stainless steel is an iron and carbon alloy that is particulary corrosion resistant.The main reason is chrome presence, which can oxidize and create a slim film able to resist external chemical agents.To keep unchanged its features, it’s necessary to avoid the following actions:Storage near iron elements, use of same tools both for iron and stainless steel items. We do not recommend to use Aisi 304 grade products for exterior projects because urban and fine dust pollution couls be aggressive and compromise the anticorrosive property of the material, neither close to seaside( salty environments) or close to swimming pools ( chloride environments). For those application we suggest the use of Stainless steel Aisi 316 grade Mirror finish.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The attractive and hygienic surface appearance of stainless steel products cannot be regarded as completely maintenance free. All grades and finishes of stainless steel may in fact stain, discolour or attain an adhering layer of grime in normal service. To achieve maximum corrosion resistance the surface of the stainless steel must be kept clean. Provided the grade, condition and surface finish were correctly selected for the particular service environment, fabrication and installation procedures were correct and that cleaning schedules are carried out regularly, good performance and long life will be achieved. Frequency and cost of cleaning of stainless steel is lower than for many other materials and this will often out-weigh higher acquisition costs.
Surface contamination and the formation of deposits are critical factors which may lead to drastically reduced life. These contaminants may be minute particles of iron or rust from other non-stainless steels used in nearby construction and not subsequently removed. Industrial, commercial and even domestic and naturally occurring atmospheric conditions can result in deposits which can be quite corrosive. An example is salt deposits from marine conditions.
Working environments can also create more aggressive conditions, such as the warm, high humidity atmosphere above indoor swimming pools. These environments can increase the speed of corrosion and therefore require more frequent maintenance. Modern processes use many cleaners, sterilisers and bleaches for hygienic purposes. All these proprietary solutions, when used in accordance with their makers’ instructions are safe, but if used incorrectly (e.g. warm or concentrated) can cause discolouration and corrosion on the surface of stainless steels. Strong acid solutions (e.g. hydrochloric acid or “spirits of salts”) are sometimes used to clean masonry and tiling of buildings but they should never be permitted to come into contact with metals, including stainless steel. If this should happen the acid solution must be removed immediately by copious water flushing.
Maintenance During Installation
Cleaning of new fabrications should present no special problems, although more attention may be required if the installation period has been prolonged. Where surface contamination is suspected, immediate attention to cleaning will promote a trouble-free service life. Food handling, pharmaceutical and aerospace applications may require extremely high levels of cleanliness.
On Going Maintenance
Advice is often sought concerning the frequency of cleaning of products made of stainless steel, and the answer is quite simply “clean the metal when it is dirty in order to restore its original appearance”. This may vary from once to four times a year for external applications or it may be once a day for an item in hygienic or aggressive situations. In many applications the cleaning frequency is after each use.
Good Housekeeping During Manufacturing
Stainless steel can be contaminated by pick-up of carbon steel (“free iron”) and this is likely to lead to rapid localised corrosion. The ideal is to have workshops and machinery dedicated to only stainless steel work, but in a workshop also processing other steels avoid pick-up from:
- Tooling used with other metals
- Grinding wheels, wire brushes, linishing belts
- Steel storage racks
- Contamination by grinding or welding sparks
- Handling Equipment
- Adjacent carbon steel fabrication
Stainless steel is easy to clean. Washing with soap or a mild detergent and warm water followed by a clean water rinse is usually quite adequate for domestic and architectural equipment. An enhanced appearance will be achieved if the cleaned surface is finally wiped dry.
We also offer a Degreaser Spray( item E4051) and a Finishing Spray (item E4052) to regular cleaning of our products.