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The Art of Metal Finishes - A Guide to Elevate Your Project

When it comes to metal products, it's not just about the material itself; the finish plays a crucial role in determining the product's aesthetics, durability, and functionality. Different types of metal finishes are available, each offering unique advantages and applications. Here are some of the most popular metal finishes requested by our customer base, and the different characteristics of each one.

1. Electro Polishing

Electro polishing is an electrochemical process that smooths and polishes the surface of metal, particularly stainless steel. It removes any imperfections, contaminants, and micro-burrs, leaving a smooth, bright, and highly corrosion-resistant finish.

Electro polishing is commonly used in the pharmaceutical, food, and beverage industries, where hygiene and corrosion resistance are paramount. It's also a preferred finish for high-end architectural and decorative metal products.

Electropolishing before and after

2.Galvanized Finish

Galvanization involves coating steel or iron with a layer of zinc. This process provides excellent corrosion resistance, as the zinc layer acts as as a critical anode, protecting the underlying metal from rust.

The steel is cleaned and prepped before being hung and placed in a series of pre-treatment chemical baths to remove rust, contaminants and any pre-existing coatings. Once clean, the items are then moved into a bath of molten zinc with a operating temperature of 450°C.

Galvanized finishes are widely used in outdoor and marine projects, such as fences, guardrails, outdoor street furniture, and metal roofing. It's an economical way to protect steel from the elements.

3. Powder Coating

Powder coating is a method where a dry powder is applied to the metal surface electrostatically and cured under heat to form a tough, durable, and attractive finish. It comes in a vast range of colours and textures, and is by far the most popular choice for majority of our customers.

Powder coating is versatile and used in various industries, including automotive, appliances, architectural structures, and outdoor equipment. It provides a durable and aesthetically pleasing finish in the customers choice of colour / texture.

Powder Coating Before and After

  1. Chrome Plating

Chrome plating is a game-changer in the metal manufacturing world, bringing both style and substance to the table. First off, chrome plating offers unparalleled aesthetics, lending a sleek and polished look that's hard to beat. It goes beyond mere beauty though, as chrome serves as a robust protective layer against corrosion, enhancing the durability of metal products.

However, the process involves certain environmental considerations and is on the more expensive side than other commonly used finishes. Yet, its widespread use in high-end consumer goods attests to its popularity.

  1. Mill Finish / Natural

A raw or natural finish on metal is when no particular finish is wanted or needed by the customer, and no process is used to improve the surface quality of the end product. It often has a dull grey appearance, and may include marks or scratches from other fabrication processes; such as heat marks from welding.

This type of finish is often preferred if the base material is suitable for its intended environment or when appearance isn’t important.

Mill / Natural Finish

Each type of metal finish offers distinct advantages and aesthetics, making it crucial to select the appropriate finish for your specific application. Whether it's enhancing the appearance of architectural structures, ensuring corrosion resistance in industrial equipment, or meeting hygiene standards in food and pharmaceutical industries, the choice of finish plays a vital role in the performance and visual appeal of your metal products.

We have covered off our customers 5 most popular finishes, but there are many more types of finishes available. If you are after a particular type of finish, or don’t know which type of finish best suits your project, then reach out and talk to our team!

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