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Would type 304 stainless steel outdoor furniture be okay?

July 26, 2012

Q. We are trying to find out if our outdoor furniture made of 304 stainless needs to be electroplated for use at the coast or near pools.

Any advise greatly appreciated


Jack Bass
President - San Diego, California

July 27, 2012

Hello Jack.

Obviously, there is no material of construction that is absolutely impervious to every situation, and there is always a higher grade of stainless that is more expensive and more rust resistant, but I believe that type 304 stainless (if properly passivated and without plating) would be a good choice for outdoor furniture.

Managing a customer's expectations is always a challenge, but if you could get them to accept that a small amount of tea staining is beautiful, life would be easier for you :-)

Please consider this response as a thumbs-up towards continuing your program and testing the furniture, not a suggestion that you can just go right on into production :-)


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

lewes1b Slight staining of the railings at Lewes, Delaware ferry terminal is beautiful. Shining like mirrors would be offensive to the nautical theme.

July 30, 2012

A. Jack,

My advise - electropolish it! Sounds more expensive, but it's worth every penny. The 3-year testing of the electropolished versus regularly passivated stainless constructions in Dubai, onshore & offshore, proved that sandy and sea-salt winds do not rust whatsoever (contrary to yearly cleaned and passivated constructions.

Even if the stainless construction cannot be dipped into the tank, the spray electropolishing method works fast with excellent results. Contact us for more information, or see the youtube clip of our R&D testing.

Anna Berkovich
Russamer Lab
supporting advertiser
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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August 3, 2012

A. Hi Jack
Ted's advice is good but please make certain that any welding uses matching filler rod or you will set up potential corrosion cells.
Also minimise any heat affected zones (HAZ) round weldments for the same reason.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England

August 13, 2012

A. The key phrase here being "at the coast or near pools", which is a very harsh environment for stainless steel. You will have less problems if you use 316 rather than 304. Electropolishing is a plus, passivation is a must. Rinse them off with fresh water periodically and keep in mind that you may need to do some maintenance repassivation every so often (safe and easy with citric acid based products).

ray kremer
Ray Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
supporting advertiser
McHenry, Illinois
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