Even though finishing is the final step in the steel fabrication process, it's of no less significance than the preceding steps. Various steel finishing options are available for achieving different purposes. Take a look at some of the main reasons fabricated steel products may require a finishing treatment.
Although steel is one of the strongest and most versatile materials available for metal fabrication projects, it's not indestructible. Certain environments can accelerate the corrosion and degradation of steel products if the substrate metal is left unprotected. For example, steel tends to corrode faster in coastal environments compared to non-coastal environments. This is because the salt in the air causes a faster rate of a chemical reaction.
The primary purpose of steel finishing is to protect the bare steel from direct contact with destructive elements. The steel finish provides a coating that protects the underlying metal from the elements. While the coating will eventually wear off due to constant exposure to the elements, it helps to prevent premature damage to the metal below, thus increasing the performance and life of steel products.
In applications where a visual appeal is required, the finishing process can be used to create the desired aesthetic for steel products. From painted to powder-coated, and plated finishes, a decorative surface finish can be applied on top of bare steel to enhance its appearance and beauty. All you have to do is to choose a finish that will provide the look that you want for your particular application.
Improved electrical conductivity/resistance
Steel doesn't boast the highest electrical conductivity of all metals and alloy metals. It also doesn't have the highest electrical resistivity. In applications where there's a need to increase the electrical conductivity or resistivity of steel, different finishing treatments may be required. For example, coating steel with a highly conductive metal will help to increase the conductivity of the final product while using a less conductive metal will increase the product's resistance to an electrical charge.
As you can see from the above discussion, steel finishes serve a variety of purposes. Generally, they're intended to improve the performance, durability, and appearance of steel products. Thinking through the required finishing process for your steel fabrication job shouldn't be overlooked during the design stage. Working with a steel fabrication service in your regions will ensure you pick the right finish or finishes for your particular project.