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Stainless steel--type 304--in a coastal environment


We are manufacturers of lighting, and we are occasionally asked to provide stainless steel --sheet, type 304--lighting fixtures in a coastal environment. We do not have an option on finishing the stainless in this environment that consistently works in a satisfactory manner. Can readers provide some feedback to us in order to help future customers?

Dan Koch
- Chicago, Illinois, USA


304 SS is not really suitable for coastal environments. Basically, you should use 316 or a higher grade material, and electropolish to improve the corrosion resistance (as well as reflectivity). Suggest downloading "Coastal Corrosion" at http://www.assda.asn.au/ and "Stainless Steel for Coastal and Salt Corrosion Applications" from the Specialty Steel Industry of North America (www.ssina.com). There is additional information at the Nickel Development Institute (www.nidi.org) and many SS suppliers.

Ken Vlach [deceased]
- Goleta, California

contributor of the year Finishing.com honored Ken for his countless carefully researched responses. He passed away May 14, 2015.
Rest in peace, Ken. Thank you for your hard work which the finishing world, and we at finishing.com, continue to benefit from.


I agree with Ken. We deal with many situations on the coasts that use 304ss instead of the 316ss, and there is usually an ongoing corrosion problem. You should never warrant corrosion resistance of 304ss in a coastal application.

lee kremer
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Lee Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
supporting advertiser
McHenry, Illinois
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