What Finishes of Stainless Steel Pipe Provides the Best Corrosion Performance in Exterior Applications?
Obtaining good corrosion performance is dependant on a variety of variables. Selecting the right finish can be as important as selecting the right stainless steel. Conversely, finish selection can make it necessary to use a more or less corrosion resistant stainless steel if corrosion free performance is desired. When a stainless steel has a pickled, electro-polished, or a mirror-like polished and buffed finish, it will generally provide the best corrosion resistance.
Light gauge sheet and strip with 2D, 2B, or BA (2R) mill finishes also provide very good corrosion performance. These finishes can be used as-is or patterns may be pressed into them. These patterns can include common coined and embossed finishes that look like fabric (cambric, linen), diamonds, and many other shapes. They can also simulate polishing and abrasive blasting. The performance of the patterned finishes varies with the finish pattern and its orientation. Some patterns are more easily washed clean by rain or manual cleaning and these will provide better performance than those which retain surface deposits. Vertical rather than horizontal finish orientation also encourages rain cleaning. These finishes vary in appearance from dull to mirror-like.