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How is stainless steel plated with various colors?

2022-08-27

The initial color of stainless steel is silver, but we can plating stainless steel with various colors to make it more texture and beautiful. This makes stainless steel more and more popular. The superior corrosion resistance of stainless steel makes color stainless steel an excellent and sustainable material. How do you color stainless steel? What are several ways to color stainless steel? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each method?

1. Electrochemical Coloring

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By immersing stainless steel sheets in a series of chemical and electrochemical baths. This process thickens the chromium oxide layer, makes the stainless steel corrosion resistant, and changes the way light is reflected by the surface. There will be various colors, including gold, champagne, bronze, purple, blue, red, black, charcoal and green. The longer the soaking time, the thicker the chromium oxide layer, and the darker color will be produced. The resulting color will not fade under the sun.

Since the color depends on the way the light is reflected through the chromium oxide film and the thickness of the film, bending the colored stainless steel or forming a panel will change the surface color of the stainless steel. If a pattern needs to be formed, some colors can be removed by etching, polishing or engraving. Selective screening can produce a surface treatment that combines different electrochemical colors. The electrochemically formed color will be damaged and cannot be repaired when the stainless steel panel is scratched and worn. The flat plate is not suitable for use where it is easy to be damaged or scratched.

The color stainless steel plate formed by Electrochemical Coloring cannot be welded because high temperature will damage the stainless steel decorative surface. Electrochemical Coloring can slightly improve the corrosion resistance of stainless steel, but this improvement is almost negligible, so it can not be used in practice.

2. Titanium plating

It is also called titanium / zirconium coating of stainless steel. In a vacuum vessel, an ion film layer of titanium / zirconium compound is formed on the surface of stainless steel. The film layer can not fade in the outdoor environment for many years. Titanium plating principle: in the high-temperature, vacuum titanium gold furnace, titanium and zirconium metals are ionized by the glow discharge of inert gas to make the metal or alloy vapor. The ions are accelerated by the electric field and deposited on the negatively charged stainless steel plate, thus forming a rich and colorful metal.

The color stainless steel has the following characteristics: 

it is rich in color, and the color is the result of the light interference of the film formed by the chemical reaction, so it will not fall off and fade, and can always remain bright; Wear resistance, corrosion resistance, high temperature resistance and weathering resistance; It can bend, stretch and have good processability.

Among the commonly used primary color stainless steels, austenitic stainless steel is the most suitable coloring material, which can obtain a satisfactory color appearance. The color of ferritic stainless steel is not as bright as the former because it will increase the possibility of corrosion in the coloring solution. However, low chromium high carbon martensitic stainless steel can only get gray or black surface because of its poor corrosion resistance.


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