Stainless steel: colors and textures

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By Richard Smylie | Jul 06, 2017
Stainless steel: colors and textures

In the third and final part of our series regarding stainless steel, we will discuss adding colors and textures to enhance an applications’ visual beauty and tactile values. With an endless number of patterns and hues from which to choose, GM Nameplate (GMN) can support your development with virtually any desired combination.  

In addition to creating textures mechanically, GMN can also create textures organically to have linear, geometric and micro patterns. Linear patterns can be in the form of pinstripes with the lines varying in thickness for accent/highlight purposes, geometric patterns that are structured to have bold distinctive values or micro patterns that are subtle patterns of tightly aligned shapes and/or lines. Organic textures can also be natural patterns that look handcrafted, such as woodgrain.

Textures can be created to be transparent, tinted, opaque, or colored, with high or low gloss values and varying tactile values. All textures can be combined with custom colors that which can be overall or selectively deposited.

For subtle designs and harmony considerations, customers often lean towards choosing 430 stainless steel using a No. 4 brushed finish. Often times this is layered with black, silver, or grey tints and a fluid pattern such as a micro or organic texture. This muted tone finish is typically spotted in home appliance suites (such as a kitchen) used across multiple applications, such as on microwaves, dishwashers, washers, dryers, and refrigerators that are within view of one another.

For a modern look, customers frequently choose a higher gloss for a more brilliant finish. An example of this this would be 430 stainless steel with a No. 8 BA (bright annealed) polish. This finish is known for its blue hue, lack of visual grain structure, and reflectivity. With this particular finish, it is common to add white or black coloring and/or geometric texture accents.  Applying the brush in multiple directions can add gradation and a tactile value to the geometric pattern.

Colors applied selectively are used to offset sections of a pattern. GMN provides a variety of options for different looks and finishes to enhance the look of stainless steel applications’.

For more information, check out the previous blogs in the series on stainless steel.

Stainless steel alloys                                                                                                      

Stainless steel: brushed finishes