Powder Coated versus Stainless Steel? Know the Difference

Stainless steel is used in thousands of applications. From canopy frames to bathroom wall partitions, stainless steel products have a natural luster and resistance to corrosion. Steel is strong and durable, and there are occasions that a powder coat adds the protection and finish to make your product perfect.

The main difference between stainless steel and powder coated steel is in the metal and process used to create each. Stainless steel includes certain metal additives in the steel to improve its corrosion resistance and durability while providing a shiny finish. Powder coating adds a protective layer over the steel and can include many combinations of finish and color.

Powder coating is an environmentally safe and dry finishing process which is low in toxicity and flammability. Finely ground particles of pigment and resin are electrostatically charged and sprayed onto electrically grounded steel. It is then evenly melted in a heated curing oven and cooled into a thin and extremely durable film.

Stainless steel includes elements such as chromium, nickel, nitrogen and molybdenum added to iron and carbon to make the steel naturally corrosion resistant. Chromium is an essential part of stainless steel, as it reacts with oxygen in the surrounding environment to create a thin oxide film protecting the steel from rust. No other coating is needed for stainless steel.

Powder Coated versus Stainless Steel - Know the Difference

Why would you choose powder coating over stainless steel?
The two clear advantages of powder coating are pricing and ability to customize. Powder coating is costs less than stainless steel. Materials such as chromium and nickel add to the price of stainless steel manufacturing. Powder coating is less expensive to finish your parts, and you can use that savings in other important areas of your business.

Powder coating uniquely has the ability to create the exact finish and color to fit your needs. Use powder coating finishes to match the colors of your brand, the environment it will be in, or in a color that will make your product stand out. Choose a finish that is flat, matte, glossy or textured. Finishes can also aid in utility such as creating a non-slip surface and many other safety and performance applications in an industrial capacity.

Stainless steel can be high shining or matte, depending on the amount of chromium used in production. Mirror finishes are highly reflective, and brushed stainless steel has a muted shine and slight pattern giving it a nice visual appeal.

Both powder coating and stainless steel hold up to corrosion such as rust or exposure to salt and other chemicals Powder coating stands up to dings and scratches, and color won’t fade over time or from the sunlight. Tell the finishing experts at Microfinish what you want to accomplish. We will advise you on the best finishing type tailored to your goals.

See what our St. Louis powder coating team can accomplish for your parts with the quality and perfection that comes with over 60 years of experience. Call us today for more information at (314) 849-8181.

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