"Stainless steel cleaning-refinish"

Question:

"We are producing a new line of stainless steel cabinet and door hardware, the products are hand forged the old fashion way in 304 stainless. We are having corrosion problems because of contamination, my understanding is that it is the coal on the forge when heating the metal that is primary source of contamination, along wiht all tools and handling. The first question is then how to clean the products once fabricated. The second how to restore a rustic looking finish without contaminating the piece. We love the dark accents obtainted when we steel brushed dark stainless comming out of the forge. Do you have any idea how to darken the stainless?"

Answer:

Usually stainless steels rust or discolor due to embedded foreign material during processing or handling, particularly embedded iron. ASTM has a standard (A-380) describing various cleaning and passivating methods for stainless steels. As for your second question regarding methods for providing a rustic appearance, we cannot help you.

 

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