Other commonly used materials such as powder-coated steel, galvanised steel, aluminium, recycled plastic and timber can last for long periods of time under certain circumstances, but are prone to corrosion, fading, cracking, graffiti damage and a myriad of other threats that will reduce the visual appeal of the furniture prematurely and eventually fail structurally.
Some of the advantages of Stainless Steel:
- Sleek modern aesthetics
- Very high resistance to corrosion
- Easy to clean and sanitise
- Easy to remove graffiti
- Long life cycle, 20 years plus
- Highly recyclable
- Little to no ongoing maintenance
A Financially Sensible DecisionAlthough material costs are generally higher than coated mild steel items, stainless steel can actually be a sound economic decision. Typically, capital investment will be 30-40% more than coated mild steel, but can have up to double the expected life cycle.
Environmental ImpactStainless Steel is 100% recyclable, and given the long life cycle and low maintenance inputs, it can be a more environmentally-friendly option than alternative materials, such as aluminium with extremely high energy inputs.
The Basics of StainlessStainless Steel is not a complicated material to work with, but it is important to have an understanding of the basics when specifying.
Grades of Stainless SteelThere are many different types of stainless steel for different applications, but only two are generally used for street furniture: 304 and 316.
304 is 18% chromium and 8% nickel (18/8). A highly durable material suitable for indoor and some outdoor applications, it is the most commonly used stainless steel. 304 is not suitable for coastal or other aggressive environments. Although it will retain its structural integrity, it may show signs of unsightly surface corrosion known as tea staining.
316 is 18% chromium and 10% nickel (18/10). Commonly known as marine grade stainless, the extra nickel content adds some extra resistance to corrosion. Suitable for marine and other aggressive environments, 316 is a safe choice for urban furniture, but is more expensive than 304.
WeldingTwo types of welding are typically employed when fabricating stainless steel – MIG Welding and TIG Welding.
Surface FinishesSurface finishing is the last process in stainless fabrication. Good surface finishing is what separates a good job from a great job. The most common finishes used on urban furniture are Mill Finish (2B); Brush (No.4); Mirror (No.8); Pickle and Passivation; and Electro Polish.
Draffin Street Furniture and StainlessDraffin has a long history of using stainless steel for urban furniture, and loves to use its experience and expertise to create exceptional solutions. For more information, read the Draffin Technical Notes for using Stainless Steel.
To find out more contact Draffin on 1300 372 334 or visit the website: www.draffin.com.au