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Stainless Steel 202 Grade Finishing

Q. Dear Sir,
We are manufacturers of building hardware fittings in mild steel, brass and recently S.S. We have been using technique of buffing in S.S finish which is very time consuming in getting mirror finish. Hence I plan to make bath for electropolishing and I already have electrical equipments which we have for nickel and chrome plating bath. Also I want to know etching process for getting 2 finish on single article that is matte and mirror with some embossed design thru etching on 202 grade stainless steel, Please suggest.

So I would like to know two things for stainless steel 202 grade
1. Electropolishing method and required chemicals
2. (Chemical acid etching) method for embossing or designing and their required chemicals.
3. Color finish through acid or chemical.

I would highly appreciate your suggestion & guidance as in the area there is nobody able to give right information, And I have trying to get this thing from last 1 month.

Thanks and regards

Mr. Moazzum Lokhandwala
hardware - Ahmedabad, India

A. Hi Moazzum. There is a very good 21-page chapter on electropolishing of stainless steel in The Electroplating Engineering Handbook, but there are proprietary suppliers of non-acid electropolishing solutions these days too. You can attend a training course on electropolishing put on by Metal Coating Process Corporation as well.

But I'm not confident that it will do quite what you want. Electropolishing is usually done after mechanical polishing, it is not usually a substitute for polishing, and I don't think it is considered a cost reduction process, but a process which delivers passivation and cleanliness not available from mechanical polishing.

To get the selective etching you seek, you would need to mask the parts you don't want etched ... but are you sure that bead blasting won't be a quicker and better approach to your requirement for matte finished areas?

I don't think it's practical to chemically color stainless steel, but there are proprietary electrochemical processes, such as "Prismatic" from B&M Finishers / Prismatic Stainless Steel [a finishing.com supporting advertiser], which is probably a thin anodized surface on the stainless steel. Good luck.

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

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Q. I have to purchase home accessories in stainless steel 202. What is 202 steel which I get in the market?

Please suggest me that buffing is good or electroplating.


Darrel Mathias
- Mumbai, India


A. Hello, Darrel. 200 series stainless steels are claimed to be generally similar to 300 series stainless steels in performance, but less expensive because manganese and nitrogen substitute for the nickel content of 300 series.

But I don't understand your question about buffing or electroplating; I don't know what you are asking -- please rephrase.

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

sidebar June 29, 2009

I was interested in the answer to the question that Darrel put up about the 200 and 300 series. I have the same need as Darrel. Please tell us how can one differentiate between the two. What is a simple test to distinguish between the two.

I understand that the 200 series is inferior to the 300 series. Please tell us how or why.

Thank you

Anthony Aguiar
buyer - Mumbai, India

Hi Anthony. We have a separate thread on your topic of comparing 202 to the 300 series. Please see letter 50226, "Difference between Stainless Steel Grades 202 and 304". Good luck.


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

January 3, 2015

Q. Hi,

I would like to understand the level of polishing that can be achieved on SS 202 tubes of wall thickness 0.8 mm.
Kindly share your view.

Thanks in advance.


Sanjeev Bordia
- Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

February 2015

A. Hi Sanjeev. Although I'm not personally experienced with 202, I see SS 202 tubing for sale which is reputedly mirror polished and I don't see any reason to disbelieve the ads. Please try your best to spend a couple of paragraphs and frame your question in terms of your own specific needs and situation rather than in the abstract where they often can't really be fully answered short of book length :-)



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

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