In the late 1970s, scientists at British Steel found that dull polished surfaces on stainless steel showed a wide range of surface roughness. Further tests showed that steels with high surface roughness were severely damaged during polishing operations, while those with a rough surface were relatively unscathed.
In the mid-1980s, dull polished finishes were widely used for projects such as high-profile architectural projects. However, it soon became apparent that some of these dull polished finishes had poor corrosion resistance, particularly when exposed to seawater. As a result, a new description of surface finishing was introduced, which is still in use today.
The three more common options for stainless steel finishing are:
No. 2B is a mill finish, which means that it has not been further worked. Matt finishes have a dull appearance and are not suitable for atheistic end uses. However, they are a good choice when appearance is not important or when further finishing is intended. These are the cheapest of the stainless-steel finishes.
Finishes are produced from “cold rolled” stainless steel by means of special rolls or dies. Cold rolling produces a smoother, less pitting surface. Next, it is softened and descaled in an acid solution. The steel undergoes a final pass on polishing rolls to further improve its smoothness.
Common applications include: