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Acid Finish at Yale Center for British Art

This is in reference to a previously posted question about the acid finish by INCO at the Yale Center for British Art. We (Platt Byard Dovell White are working on a pair of fire-rated doors at the Avery Library for Columbia University and would like to clad it in stainless steel using the same or similar finish used by Louis Kahn at the Yale Center for British Art. I have seen it described as a 'mill finish stainless steel'. But when I have asked metal finishers about 'mill finish' they say it's a factory finish and that seems to conflict with the information previously posted. Could someone help enlighten us on the type of 'acid' finish described and on who is capable of providing the patented finish was answered? 


Sandra Suarez
architect - New York, New York, USA

"Yale Center for British Art"

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Maybe there will be better response this time, Ms. Suarez.

No shop came forward last time claiming to be licensed to run this patented process. Perhaps the patent process really is badly broken, as many claim, when the patent holder apparently has grown ignorant of the process, or is at least uninterested in doing it, while their idle patent is preventing anyone else from doing this obviously highly desired process :-)

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

See US Patent 4,518,467 (

Tom Gallant
- Long Beach, California, USA

We are following up to see if anyone has more information on the finishing process(es) described in letter 32649. We too are trying to use steel finished in a way similar to Kahn's Yale Center for British Art. We have seen the INCO process used on spun stainless steel used by textile artists. We know that she obtains her product from a factory in Japan and has a special relationship with the owner, but we haven't been able to find anything in the USA. We are looking to finish angles and cables. Any information you may have would be appreciated.


Mary O'Toole
- Chicago, Illinois, USA

A fellow architect visited Kahn's building and picked up a brochure that had a short description of the building. According to him, the brochure described the panels as "pewtered" stainless steel. I've been told that most metal shops with finishing tanks can provide this finish to varying degrees.

Agustin Ayuso
- New York, New York

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