Stainless steel can be used in designs where distinctive character of the material is aesthetically used to bring about slender contemporary designs suitable for both indoor and outdoor furniture.
1. Style of Look
The look of a well-polished stainless steel creates attention and elegance when it is combined with other materials such as wood, wicker or sling, creating a visual balance of style and function.
2. Durability and Strength
Quality stainless steel is made of steel alloy that makes it highly resistant to corrosion. Stainless steel should contain at least 10% chromium, which is oxygenated to form an invisible layer of chromium oxide, making the stainless steel self-protective and resists corrosion.
If the surface becomes damaged, the chromium-oxide layer reforms within minutes and heals itself. Stainless steel will not rust; however, it is vulnerable to salt air and chlorine. An electropolished (EP) finish is recommended for outdoor furniture used in coastal or pool environments and near a pool. The electro-chemical process of EP removes the iron from the surface of the steel, with the chrome intact, resulting in corrosion resistant surface.
Stainless steel is generally resistant to corrosion; however, salinated moisture and chlorinated water from a swimming pool and other chemicals may cause discoloration of the surface resulting porous rust spots appearing on its surface over time, especially in seaside settings.
These spots in no way affect the strength and integrity of the furniture; they require cleaning and maintenance to restore the stainless steel to its original appearance.
3. Care and Maintenance
Stainless steel furniture should be cleaned routinely with appropriate non-abrasive cloth and clean, warm water with or without a gentle detergent. It is recommended to wipe with the directional grain of the steel, not across it. Stainless steel surfaces can be rinse with fresh water and dried thoroughly.
Stainless steel cleaner can be used for fingerprints or smudges, however, always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before applying a stainless steel cleaning product.
If more aggressive cleaning is required, the type of contaminant needs to be determined and an appropriate cleaner and polisher chosen that is safe for stainless steel. Highly abrasive cloths and steel wool pads shouldn’t be used.
4. Costs and Weight
Stainless steel is generally more expensive and heavier comparing to that of aluminum pound for pound. As such, stainless steel-made furniture is heavier to move by a user comparing with aluminium-made furniture.
However, steel itself is more recyclable demanded and therefore has certain value retention as scrap. In fact, over 50% of new stainless steel comes from re-melted stainless steel scrap.
Find out more about our Mondecasa brand and other indoor and outdoor furniture.