Brushed and satin stainless steel are different. Still different is the “brushed steel” finish that is commercially used with products made with other metal alloys, such as brass. All these finishes, however, are often confused and perceived by the user as similar while in reality being very different. In this article we will examine the differences and similarities between brushed and satin stainless steel, relating them to other metals, typically brass, worked with a brushed finish, trying to capture the strengths and weaknesses of each.
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Brushed stainless steel, regular lines and extraordinary shine
Genuine brushed 316L stainless steel has a unique brilliance, mainly due to the fine neat and regular surface scratches. The metal is in fact treated in a first phase with a very abrasive cloth that creates shallow and very bright lines. Subsequently, the lines are attenuated with lower grade abrasive wheels in “scotch brite”. This last type of treatment dulls and softens the surface to the touch.
The result of this multi-phase treatment are reflections of light coming from the linear scratches of the opaque surface, which create a unique and unrepeatable effect on other metals. It is a distinctive and recognizable aspect that is often chosen for decorative and design objects.
Satin stainless steel, irregular and recognizable features
The satin stainless steel finish is obtained in a different way than brushed stainless steel. Instead of scratching the surface with lines of medium depth, the surface is brought to a very high degree of polishing, generally called “mirror”.
Subsequently, the surface is worked with a so-called “ventilated” wheel, with a very low degree of abrasiveness, which is able to create irregular micro lines that slightly opacify the shiny surface.
This type of finish is generally used in more extreme conditions, such as outdoors or wellness centers, due to its ability to slide the impurities contained in the air. This is another less brilliant type of finish but very bright, elegant and discreet.
Brass with a “brushed steel” finish, more disadvantages than advantages
The “brushed stainless” or “satin” finishes obtained through special industrial processes on metals that have nothing to do with stainless steel are quite another thing. In this case, an attempt is made to obtain the “brushed stainless steel” or “satin” effect on alloys such as brass, proving that, in terms of design, steel has an aspect that is highly sought after by architects and designers.
However, brass has a decidedly different yield compared to stainless steel. The industrial process that makes it similar to steel in fact involves brushing the nickel-plated surface and subsequently protecting it with hypoxodic paint to prevent the surface from being subjected to the action of moisture.
If the desired finish is brushed or satin, the choice is only one: stainless steel
As we have seen, stainless steel always has great advantages in the production of taps. Even in particular finishes, such as brushed or satin. In addition to giving the taps a more refined and elegant appearance, it guarantees superior resistance over time. Furthermore, it never loses its typical shine.
In addition, compared to brass, brushed or satin stainless steel has an incomparable advantage in hiding fingerprints, has a warmer tone and gives a feeling of unparalleled strength and reliability to the touch.
For this reason Super Inox has made a precise choice: stainless steel and quality and design products that can satisfy both the architect and those who, as is normal, want to buy a product that lasts over time.