Cleaning Stainless Steel
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DESIGNER HANDBOOK THE CARE AND CLEANING O F S TA I N L E S S The Value Option TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 1 WHAT IS STAINLESS STEEL 1 ALLOY TYPES 1 FORMS AND FINISHES 2 CLEANING OF STAINLESS STEEL 3 Types of surface contaminants 3 TYPES OF CLEANERS AND METHODS 4 EFFECTIVE CLEANING METHODS 5 CARE OF STAINLESS STEEL 5 LISTING OF STAINLESS STEEL PIPE AND TUBE MANUFACTURERS Specialty Steel Industryof North America that this newhandbook contains published by theCommittee of Stainless SteelProducers American Iron and The Specialty Steel Industry of the NorthSteel Institute which no longer America SSINA and the Current SSINA member companies it represents have made everycompanies were represented effort to ensure that the informationon that committee presented in this handbook is technically correct However neither the SSINA nor itsThe SSINA wishes to member companies warrants the accuracy of the information contained in this the contributions or its suitability for any general and specificof the Nickel Development use The SSINA assumes no liability orInstitute and its consultant responsibility of any kind in connection withTechnical Marketing Resources the use of this information The reader is advised that the material contained PA for help in should not be used or relied on for anypreparing the contents of specific or general applications without firstthis handbook securing competent WHAT IS STAINLESS and stainless steel are Stainless steel is not a single alloy but rather the name applies to a group of related and in many applications alloys containing a minimum 105 chromium Other elements are added and theeach is dependent upon the other In chromium content increased to improve the corrosion resistance and heat resistingthe handling of food chemicals properties enhance mechanical properties andor improve fabricating and in the use ofstainless steel as a construction material There are over 50 stainless steel grades that were originally recognized by the Americanroofs wall panels entry ways signs etc Iron and Steel Institute AISI Three general are used to identify steel provides the degree steel They areof corrosion resistance that is necessary 1 Metallurgical structureto prevent product contamination or 2 The AISI numbering system 200 300 and 400 series numberssurface rusting However stainless steelperforms best when clean cleanliness 3 The Unified Numbering System which was developed by the American Societyis essential for maximum resistance for Testing Materials ASTM and the Society of Automotive Engineers SAE to applyto corrosion to all commercial metals and alloys This handbook describes various The various types of stainless steel are detailed in a designer handbook for cleaning stainless steel Guidelines for the Selection and Use of Stainless Steel available from the manufacture and in use Thisincludes methods for removing freeiron Steel Industry of North America SSINA Several other publications are also on stainless steel surfaces including Stainless Steel Fabrication Stainless Steel Fasteners Stainless Steelthat may have been picked up from Finishes Stainless Steel Specifications and Stainless Steel Architectural tools and for removing to mention a fewgeneral accumulation of dirt grime andsurface stains that occur during normal ALLOY TYPEShandling and exposure to the elements The reader should keep in mind 304 is the basic chromiumnickel 316 offers more there are few specific rules for a austenitic stainless steel and has through the addition of procedure Accordingly the been found suitable for a wide range This grade is desirable where themethods discussed in this handbook of applications It is the most readily possibility of severe corrosion existsare suggestions Each manufacturer or available in a variety of product forms such as heavy industrial after obtaining competent advice This grade is easy to form and fabricate and marine respect to their individual with excellent resistance to corrosion 316L is the low carbon version of should select methods 304L is the low carbon version ofappropriate to those requirements 430 is a straight chromium ferritic 304 It is sometimes specified where stainless steel with lower corrosion extensive welding will be done resistance than the 300 series It is principally employed for interior use 1FORMS AND FINISHES Table 1 CLASSIFICATION OF STAINLESS STEEL PRODUCT FORMS Item Description strip plate and bar forms are shown in Thickness Width Diameter or SizeTable 1 Sheet finishes are shown in Table 2 Sheet Coil and cut lengthsBar product conditions and finishes are Mill finishes Nos 1 2D 2B under 316 476mm 24 6096mm over Pol finishes Nos 3 4 6 7 8 under 316 476mm all widthsshown in Table 3 Plate is shown in Table 4 Strip Cold finished coils or cut lengths under 316 476mm under 24 6096mm In addition to the common mill and polished Pol finishes Nos 3 4 6 7 8 under 316 476mm all widthsfinishes there are numerous special finishes Plate Flat rolled or forged 316 476mm over over 10 254mm used for architectural applications Some of Bar Hot finished rounds squaresthe more delicate finishes require special octagons and hexagons 14 635mm when cleaning and the advice Hot finished flats 18 318mm to 14 635mm to 8 203mm incl 10 254mm inclof the supplier should be obtained Cold finished rounds squaresThe most common special finishes are octagons and hexagons over 18 318mmshown in Table 5 Cold finished flats 18 318mm to 38 953mm to 4 12 114mm 4 12 114mm Wire Cold finishes only in coil Round square octagon hexagon and flat wire under 316 476mm under 38 953mm Pipe Several different with differing specifications are available For information on standard Tubing sizes consult your local Steel Service Center or the SSINA Extrusions Not considered standard shapes but of potentially wide interest Currently limited in size to approximately 6 12 1651mm diameter or structurals Table 2 STANDARD MECHANICAL SHEET FINISHES Unpolished or Rolled Finishes No 1 A rough dull surface which results from hot rolling to the specified thickness followed by annealing and descaling No 2D A dull finish which results from cold rolling followed by annealing and descaling and may perhaps get a light roll pass through unpolished rolls A 2D finish is used where appearance is not of primary concern No 2B A bright coldrolled finish resulting in the same manner as No 2D finish except that the annealed and descaled sheet receives a final light roll pass through polished rolls This is the generalpurpose coldrolled finish that can be used as is or as a preliminary step to polishing Polished Finishes No 3 An intermediate polish surface obtained by finishing with a 100grit abrasive Generally used where a semifinished polished surface is required A No 3 usually receives additional polishing during fabrication No 4 A polished surface obtained by finishing with a 120150 mesh abrasive following initial grinding with coarser abrasives This is a generalpurpose bright finish with a visible grain which prevents mirror reflection No 6 A dull satin finish having lower reflectivity than No 4 finish in a medium of abrasive and oil It is used for architectural applications and ornamentation where a higher luster is undesirable and to contrast with brighter finishes No 7 A highly reflective finish that is obtained by buffing finely ground surfaces but not to the extent of completely removing the grit lines It is used chiefly for architectural and ornamental purposes No 8 The most reflective surface obtained by polishing with successively finer abrasives and buffing extensively until all grit lines from preliminary grinding operations are removed It is used for applications such as mirrors and 3 CONDITIONS FINISHES FOR BAR CLEANING OF Conditions Surface Finishes STAINLESS STEEL Hot worked only a Scale not removed excluding spot conditioning Stainless steels need to be cleaned for b Rough turned c Pickled or blast cleaned and pickled aesthetic considerations and to preserve Annealed or otherwise a Scale not removed excluding spot conditioning corrosion resistance Stainless steel is heat treated b Rough turned protected from corroson by a thin layer of c Pickled or blast cleaned and pickled chromium oxide Oxygen from the d Cold drawn or cold rolled e Centerless ground atmosphere combines with the chromium f Polished in the stainless steel to form this passive Annealed and cold worked d Cold drawn or cold rolled chromium oxide film that protects from to high tensile strength e Centerless ground f Polished further corrosion Any contamination of the surface by dirt or other material hinders Surface finishes b e and f are applicable to round bars only this passivation process and traps corrosive Bars of the 4xx series stainless steels which are highly hardenable such as Types 414 420 420F 431 440A 440B and 440C are annealed before rough turning Other hardenable grades such as Types 403 410 416 and agents reducing corrosion protection Thus 416Se may also require annealing depending on their composition and size some form of routine cleaning is necessary Produced in Types 302 303Se 304 and 316 to preserve the appearance and integrity of the surface Stainless steels are easilyTable 4 CONDITIONS FINISHES FOR PLATE cleaned by many different methods They Condition and Finish Description and Remarks actually thrive with frequent cleaning and Hot rolled Scale not removed Not heat treated unlike some other materials it is impossible Plates not recommended for final use in this condition to wear out stainless steel by excessive Hot rolled annealed Scale not removed Use of plates in this condition is generally confined cleaning The effect of surfacepattern or heat treated to heat resisting applications Scale impairs corrosion resistance roughness grainpattern orientation and Hot rolled annealed or Condition and finish commonly preferred for corrosion resisting and designs that allow for maximum rain cleaning heat treated blast cleaned most heat resisting applications or pickled exterior applications should be considered Hot rolled annealed descaled Smoother finish for specialized applications and temper passed Types of surface contaminants Hot rolled annealed descaled Smooth finish with greater freedom from surface imperfections Dirt Like any surface that is exposed to cold rolled annealed descaled than the above the environment stainless steel can get dirty optionally temper passed Dirt and soil can consist of accumulated Hot rolled annealed or heat Polished finishes refer to Table 2 treated surface cleaned dust and a variety of contaminates that and polished come from many sources ranging from the wind to everyday use These contaminates Surface inspection is not practicable on plates which have not been pickled or otherwise descaled will vary greatly in their effect on appearance and corrosivity and ease ofTable 5 SPECIAL STAINLESS STEEL FINISHES removal While some may be easily Finish Description removed others may require specific Selective Polishing Selective polishing of unprotected areas to produce patterns cleaners for effective removal It may be Swirl Swirl patterns obtained with grinding wheels or stainless steel wire brushes necessary to identify the contaminate or Engine Turn Rings circles or overlapping circles created with a CNCoperated machine experiment with various cleaners Distressed Random scratch pattern covering entire surface Frequently warm water with or without a Angel Hair Finer random scratch pattern gentle detergent is sufficient Next in order Abrasive Blast Matte uniform blast media choice determines appearance are mild nonscratching abrasive powders Selective Etching Etching of selected surface areas to obtain a pattern such as typical household cleaners These Embossing Raised patterns pressed into the stainless by rolling can be used with warm water bristle Applied to cut sheets numerous colors also called INCO or light interference coloring Epoxy Paint Applied to coils full range of colors brushes sponges or clean cloths Sputtering Thin layer of a colored material applied to surface Plating Electroplating with colored andor precious metals Perforated Designs Simple or elaborate patterns 3 Ordinary carbon steel brushes or steel Shop oil and Grease Shop oils which may not a problem on dull finishes or thosewool should be avoided as they may leave carry grease grit and metal chips surfaces finished with a coarse embedded on the surface which commonly produce surface soiling after grit The best preventative measure is tocan lead to RUSTING many shop operations Greases and other avoid using abrasive cleaners unless For more aggressive cleaning a small contaminates may also soil surfaces in food absolutely necessary When abrasives areamount of vinegar can be added to the preparation and many other household and needed first experiment on anscouring powder commercial situations These soils may be inconspicuous area A soft abrasive such Cleaning should always be followed by corrosive in themselves or may not allow the as pumice should be used Abrasives canrinsing in clean hot water surface to maintain passivity and so permanently damage some colored and When water contains mineral solids periodic removal is a necessity Initially highly polished finishes Advice should bewhich leave water spots it is advisable to soap or detergent and water may be tried or obtained from the finish supplier whenwipe the surface completely with dry towels a combination of detergent and water plus a cleaning special finishes Many and Stains Fingerprints and mild solvent The removal of oil and grease from contain corrosive ingredients which requirestains resulting from normal use in stainless steel parts by immersion in thorough postclean rinsing with cleanconsumer and architectural applications are chemical solvents is frequently used with water however thorough rinsing isthe most common surface contaminates coldformed or machined parts that are recommended for all cleaning these usually affect only laden with lubricants This process in its Clean Water and Wipe The simplest and seldom have an effect on simplest form consists of bringing liquid and least costly method that will resistance They are easy to solvent into contact with the surface to be do the job is always the best methodremove by a variety of simple cleaning cleaned and allowing dissolution to take Stainless surfaces thrive with Fingerprints are probably the place for example washing a surface with cleaning because there is no surfacemost troublesome marks to remove from the or similar liquid or stirring a coating to wear off stainless steels A softsurface of smooth polished or bright batch of small parts in a container of cloth and clean warm water should alwaysfinished stainless steel Fortunately they solvent Nonhalgenated solvents such as be the first choice for mild stains and loosecan be removed with a glass cleaner or by acetone methyl alcohol ethyl alcohol dirt and soils A final rinse with clean watergentle rubbing with a paste of soda ash methyl ethyl ketone benzene isopropyl and a dry wipe will complete the processsodium carbonate and water applied with alcohol toluene mineral spirits and and eliminate the possibility of water stainsa soft rag Once again this should be turpentine work well Solvent Cleaning Organic solvents can befollowed by a thorough warm water rinse Many of these solvents are widely used to remove fresh fingerprints and oilsThere are several special surface finishes used as individual cleaners but there are and greases that have not had time towhere fingerprints present special problems thousands of blended or compound cleaners oxidize or decompose The No 6 etched some abrasive on the market Users are advised to contact solvent is one that does not contain finishes and light suppliers of solvents for information on their such as acetone methyl alcohol andcolors applied over satin or brushed finishes applications on stainless steel mineral spirits There are many compounded or blended organic cleanersNOTE there are several special finishes TYPES OF CLEANERS that are commercially available and to withstand fingerprints AND METHODS to optimize both cleanability and safetyembossed swirl patterns lined patterns etc General Precautions attributes Cleaning can be accomplished In selecting cleaning practices consider the by immersing smaller articles directly into possibility of scratching and the potential for the solvent wiping with postcleaning corrosion caused by cloths or by sophisticated vapor or spray incompletely removed cleaners Scratching methods The wiping technique sometimes can occur on a bright mirror finish by leaves a streaked surface cleaners that contain hard abrasives or even by grit in wash water This is CLEANING METHODS CARE OF STAINLESS STEELJob Cleaning Agents Comments The cleaner stainless steel can be kept while in storage being processed or duringRoutine Cleaning Warm Water Soap Ammonia Detergent Apply with sponge or soft cloth Can be used on all finishes use the greater the assurance of optimum corrosion resistance Some tips on the and Smears 3M Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish Provides barrier film to minimize Arcal 20 LacONu Lumin Wash OCedar fingerprints Can be used on all finishes of stainless steel are listed below Cream Polish Stainless Shine 1 Use paper or other protective wrapping on the surface of theStubborn Stains 3M Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish Rub lightly using dry damp cloth in stainless steel until processingand Discoloration Allchem Concentrated Cleaner Samae the direction of polish lines on the Twinkle Cameo Copper Cleaner Grade FFF stainless steel is complete or Grade F Italian Pumice Whiting or talc 2 Handle stainless steel with clean Liquid Nu Steel Coppers or Revere Stainless Steel Cleaner Household Cleaners Lumin gloves or cloths to guard against Cleaner Zud Restoro StaClean Highlite stains or finger marks Allen Polish PennyBrite CopperBrite 3 Avoid the use of oily rags or greasyGrease and Blood ScotchBrite Power Pad 2001 EasyOff Excellent removal on acids all finishes cloths when wiping the surfaceBurnton or DeGreaseIt 4 to 6 hot solution Particularly useful where rubbingBakedon Foods of such agents as trisodium polyphosphate is not practical 4 Do routine cleaning of exposed 5 to 15 caustic soda solution surfaces Buildings with windowGrease and Oil Any good commercial detergent or Apply with sponge or soft cloth in washing systems can utilize this caustic cleanser direction of polish lines method to clean exterior panelsNOTE Use of proprietary names is intended only to indicate a type of cleaner and does not constitute an endorsement 5 Where possible after cleaning Omission of any proprietary cleanser does not imply its inadequacy All products should be used in strict accordance with instructions on package rinse thoroughly with water 6 Cleaning with Cleaners Household cleaners fall or low in chloride The cleaning method detergents must be avoidedinto two categories detergent nonabrasive generally employed with these cleaners is to 7 Even the finest cleaning powdersand abrasive cleaners Both are effective for apply them to the stainless surface and can scratch or burnish a millrolledmany mild dirt stain and soil deposits as follow by cloth wiping or to wipe directly finish On polished finisheswell as light oils such as fingerprints The with a soft cloth In all rubbing or wiping should be doneabrasive cleaners are more effective but cases the cleaned surface should be in the direction of the polish linesintroduce the possibility of scratching the thoroughly rinsed with clean water and NOT across themsurface However the degree of wiped dry with a soft cloth if water streaking 8 DO NOT USE SOLVENTS in will vary greatly with the is a consideration spaces or while product and some brands will Commercial Cleaners Many noticeable scratching on only the cleaners compounded from phosphates Many adhesivebacked papers and plasticmost highly polished and some colored sheets or tape applied to stainless steel for synthetic detergents and alkalis are protection age in fairly short periods of timesurfaces All of these cleaners vary widely available for the cleaning of severely soiled and become extremely difficult to removewith respect to their acidity and the amount or stained stainless surfaces When used Manufacturers should be contactedof chloride they contain A neutral cleaner with a variety of cleaning methods these regarding information as to how longlow in chloride is preferred unless the user is cleaners can safely provide effective protective films or paper can be left in placeassured that the surface can be thoroughly cleaning Manufacturers should berinsed after cleaning The fact that the label consulted and their for stainless steel is no guarantee followed whenever using cleaners of thisthat the product is not abrasive not acidic kind The general precautions stated above also pertain to these cleaners 5
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