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Suggestions on polishing exterior of stainless steel tanks in a factory

I need suggestions on how to polish the exterior of stainless steel tanks to a mirror finish. the tanks are in a distillery but I can encapsulate each tank if the process is messy or hazardous.

I do have some polishing experience but due to the square footage of this project I would like suggestions on the absolute best possible way. cost is of no concern, I just want the absolute best result. I have 10 tanks 35' high by 25' across.

Thank you in advance.

James Maher
sandblaster and metal prep - Derby, Connecticut, USA
June 4, 2010

Well I suppose someone with auto body experience could point you in the right direction. Sounds like a hellish amount of work; I hope you have deep pockets!

rod henrickson
Rod Henrickson
gunsmith - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
June 13, 2010

June 15, 2010

Hi, James. This job doesn't require high technology: the way it is done is simply to manually polish and buff the tanks (which is not to say that it requires no skill). We have many threads on line here about mirror polishing of stainless steel, like thread 54628 and -- to make it sound easier than it is -- you polish with a mop and compound just coarse enough to remove all scratches, then you polish with a compound just coarse enough to remove the new scratches you just put in, doing the same thing 5 or 6 times until you are down to an extremely fine compound and a bright shine.

But Rods' "hellish amount of work" sounds like an understatement :-)


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

Think of biiig belts and abrasives.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
June 14, 2010

July 21, 2010

Dear Sir,
we can get mirror finish in conning proses. but this is costly process. vessels is also very big one, so we can do this polish by using some different type of abrasive and mop. we have portable machine to do the buffing of SS vessels.

Shanmugavel Thangappan
- Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India.

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