Stainless steels are selected for applications where their inherent corrosion resistance, strength and aesthetic appeal are required. However, dependent on the service conditions, stainless steels will stain and discolour due to surface deposits and so cannot be assumed to be completely maintenance-free. In order to achieve maximum corrosion resistance and aesthetic appeal, the surface of the stainless steel must be kept clean. Provided the grade of stainless steel and the surface finish are correctly selected, and cleaning schedules carried out on a regular basis, good performance and long service life will result.
Cleaning and Maintenance
With care taken during fabrication and installation, cleaning before ‘hand-over’ should not present any problems. More attention may be required if the installation period has been prolonged or hand-over delayed. Where surface contamination is suspected, immediate cleaning after site fixing should avoid problems later
The frequency of cleaning is dependent on the application – a simple rule is:
Clean the metal when it is dirty in order to restore its original appearance.
This may vary from once to four times a year for external applications, but may be daily for items in ‘hygienic’ applications.