perth bin enclosures

Everyday we use stainless steel, from the spoon we use at breakfast – to stacking the dishwasher at night. Stainless steel is also playing a major part in urban street furniture. Generally, stainless steel is specified for its extreme durability or attractive finish. However, stainless steel is also a cost effective option when taking the full life cycle into account. It is one of the few materials that will outlast the design of the furniture piece. Other commonly used materials like timber and recycled plastic can last for long periods in the right conditions but are prone to fading and cracking.

stainless steel street bin

The coastal Town of Cottesloe chose stainless steel bin surrounds for their high corrosion resistance

Some of the advantages of Stainless Steel

  • Sleek modern aesthetics
  • Very high resistance to corrosion
  • Easy to clean and sanitise
  • Easy to remove graffiti
  • Long life cycle, 20 years plus
  • Highly recyclable
  • Little to no ongoing maintenance

A Financially Sensible Decision

Although material costs are slightly higher than coated mild steel, stainless steel outdoor furniture is a sound economic decision. Typically, marine grade stainless steel furniture pieces have double the life cycle when compared to mild and aluminium steel products.

Environmental Impact

Stainless steel is one of the few materials that is 100% recyclable indefinitely. Stainless steels longevity and minimal maintenance makes it is a more sustainable option than alternative materials such as aluminium.

The Basics

Stainless steel is not a complicated material to work with, but it is important to understand the basics when specifying.

Grades of Stainless Steel

304

A commonly used highly durable material, 304 is 18% chromium and 8% nickel (18/8). 304 is often used in indoor and some outdoor applications but isn’t really suitable for coastal areas or other aggressive environments. It will retain its structural integrity but may show signs of unsightly surface corrosion known as tea staining.

316

Commonly known as marine grade stainless, 316 is 18% chromium and 10% nickel (18/10). The additional nickel content adds further resistance to corrosion. Suitable for marine and other aggressive environments, 316 is the best choice for outdoor furniture.

TIG weld on stainless steel

Welding

There are typically two types of welds used when fabricating stainless steel.

MIG Welding

Metal Inert Gas, or MIG welding is a fast and easy method of welding. Rollers feed continuous filler wire through a contact tip that melts the wire and parent metal together. MIG welding is suitable for hidden areas but isn’t as controlled and neat as TIG welding. It is prone to issues like contaminated welds and spattering.

MIG Weld

An example of MIG welding

TIG Welding

Tungsten Inert Gas, or TIG welding is a stronger welding technique. Utilising an electric flame torch, TIG operators can precisely control heating of parent metals and manually feed filler wire as required. TIG welding produces a deeper penetration, smaller welds and is visually appealing.

TIG Weld

An example of TIG welding

Surface Finishes

Surface finishing is the last step in stainless fabrication. It’s what separates a good job from a great job. Contaminants can stain metal surfaces if it has grooves. Hence, the smoother the surface finish the greater the corrosion resistance.

 

 

Brush finish dog bowl

Brush finish stainless steel

Mill Finish

Mill finish is the steels natural state straight off the production line. Best used for applications where the finish is not a factor, such as a hidden framing.

Brush Finish

Brush finish uses mechanical abrasion to create a shiny finish and imbed a directional grain into the surface. The smoother the brush finish, the better the corrosion resistance.

 

InFinity Series with mirror polished canopy

InFinity Series bin surround with a mirror finish canopy

Mirror Finish

Mirror polish involves buffing the steel surface to achieve a reflective finish. Often used for aesthetic reasons, this finish also has other advantages such as being easy to wipe clean.

Pickle and Passivation

Using chemical pickling removes all surface contaminants post fabrication. Passivating accelerates the production of the passive layer which increases corrosion resistance.

Electro polished stainless steel

Electro polish finish

Electro Polish 

This process removes any flaws, embedded impurities and high points on the steels surface. As a result, electro polish is one of the highest forms of corrosion resistance.

Draffin have a long history of using stainless steel for outdoor furniture. We love to use our experience and expertise to create exceptional solutions. If you wish to discuss how you could use stainless steel in your latest project, our friendly designers are on hand to answer any questions.