Stainless Steel Handrail Design is Virtually Endless
Stainless steel is a clean bright material suited for applications from industrial to the penthouse.
The appearance of stainless steel can take many forms depending on the type of finish that is applied to the metal. Some of these that are commonly used in architectural applications are:
Satin – Brushed Finishes
These finishes are applied to flat bars, tubes, angles and sheet metal as a straight grain finish and can vary between a bright grained finish (#4) to a finer grained finish (#6) . They can also be applied to round tubes as a circular grained finish. The satin finish is probably the most common finish applied to stainless steel. Keep in mind that these finishes vary from fabricator to fabricator and finishes on sheet metal have a different appearance than those applied in a shop environment where the work is primarily done by hand.
Highly reflective finishes are achieved by finishing the stainless steel material in subsequent finer grits followed by a buffing process to produce a reflective finish on the material. Again be aware that finishes vary between fabricators and suppliers and generally the architectural applications use a #7 finish which still may have some visible lines in the polished surface.
The primary finish in this category would be bead blasted finishes produced by the impact of a hard, inert medium onto the stainless steel surface resulting in a non-directional, uniform matte surface with low reflectivity. Specifying bead blasted material should be done directly with a fabricator familiar with the process, samples obtained and a control sample put in place for the final work. Most common stainless steel materials can be bead blasted with the exception of stainless steel sheet.