In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French “inoxydable”, is a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass. Stainless steel does not readily corrode, rust or stain with water as ordinary steel does.
Stainless steel is used to make machines and molds. If treated or stored incorrectly, any grade of stainless steel may discolor or stain. To maintain optimum appearance, the surface should be cared for regularly.
1. Maintenance during installation
The quality of installation affects the durability and lifespan of stainless steel. Therefore it is important to make sure stainless steel is in good condition before installation. Normally, giving it a quick clean is enough prior to installation. However, if surface contamination is present, more attention is required. In fields such as industrial food production, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, an extremely high standard of cleanliness may be required so extra care should be taken.
2. Routine maintenance
Maintenance is required to maintain the quality and appearance of steel. Depending on the environment, it is carried out between one and ten times per year. A proper maintenance routine significantly prolongs the life of stainless steel.
3. Tools used for maintenance
Soft cloth and water: suitable for cosmetic issues and general cleaning.
Mild detergent: needed if stains cannot be easily lifted with water.
Glass cleaner: useful for removing fingerprints and similar stains.
Dry ice blasting machine: Cleaning with dry ice. The new development is quickly expanding around the world. One system uses small rice size pellets of dry ice shooting them out of a jet nozzle with compressed air. It works somewhat like sandblasting or high-pressure water or steam blasting,with superior results.