It may be obvious from the name, but stainless steel products are resistant to stains and rust. This resistance comes from a thin layer of oxide that forms on the surface because of the chromium that is included in the metal alloy. Despite only being very thin, this oxide layer protects the metal beneath it from exposure to corrosive conditions. This makes stainless steel great for outdoor uses such as stainless steel handrails as it has great protection that even regenerates when damaged.
Another incredibly common method of protecting metals from corrosion is painting them. The paint protects the metal below from contact with water and oxygen which causes corrosion. Many people will ask, should they paint stainless steel products if they already have corrosion protection? It is not necessary for protecting the metal from the elements as high-grade stainless steel handrails can withstand even incredibly high salt environments. Painting stainless steel will inhibit the built-in corrosion resistance as it needs oxygen exposure to regenerate its protective film.
There are some scenarios where you may wish to paint stainless steel handrails. For example, they may need to match surrounding colors or match aesthetics and branding. When you paint stainless steel, measures must be taken to add corrosion resistance, as its natural protection is reduced. To do this, an etch primer and epoxy paint must be used to build a new protective layer. The surface also needs proper preparation to prevent the paint from coming off of the stainless steel products.
To learn more about using and painting stainless steel handrails, contact Southern Cross Laser.