Guide to Stainless Steel Sheet Finishes | Mill, Polished, Brushed, Mirror

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Stainless Steel Sheet Finishes

Stainless steel sheet is produced in many types of finishes due to the various uses and applications that stainless steel can be used in. It has become popular in kitchens due to its low maintenance, cleanliness, appearance, and corrosion resistance to food acids and water.

For example, the most commonly used finish for most stainless steel appliances is the No. 4 "Brushed" finishes. This finish provides a nice bright, brushed appearance that will withstand daily use and mask the fingerprints, scuffs, scratches, etc.

2B (Bright, Cold Rolled)

A bright, cold-rolled finish is the most commonly "Mill" finish for light gauge stainless steel sheet. It resembles a very hazy mirror, with some reflection evident. It is obtained by a final light roll pass of the sheet through polished rolls. This is the general-purpose cold-rolled finish that can be used as is, or a preliminary step to polishing. 2B sheets do not typically have any protective coating and therefore may contain light marks from handling and shearing operations.

No. 3 (Brushed, 120 Grit)

An intermediate polished surface obtained by finishing with a 120-grit abrasive. A directional course "grain" running in one direction. Used in heavy use areas or can be further polished after fabrication. Our #3 polish stainless sheets come with peel off protective covering on one side that can be removed after the material is installed.

No. 4 (Brushed, 150 Grit)

A polished surface obtained by finishing with a 150 mesh abrasive. This is a general purpose bright finish with a       visible directional “grain” which prevents mirror reflection. Commonly found in kitchen applications. We stock a variety of sizes and gauges in the #4 polished stainless steel sheet. Like the #3 finish, these sheets also come with a peel off protective coating on one side.

No. 8 (Mirror)

The most reflective surface of stainless steel commonly available, It is produced by polishing with successively finer abrasives and buffing extensively until all grit lines from preliminary grinding operations are removed. It is used for cosmetic applications such as mirrors and reflectors.

BA (Bright Annealed)

Sometimes confused with the No. 8 finish, although it is not as "clear and defect free" as the No. 8 mirror finish. This is obtained by annealing the material under an atmosphere so that scale is not produced on the surface. This results in a highly reflective, mirror-like finish, without further polishing.

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