Information about Type 304 Stainless Steel

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Information about Type 304 Stainless Steel 

INTRODUCTION: Stainless steel is steel that stains less. Stainless steel is defined as steel alloyed with chromium that is highly resistant to stain, rust and corrosion. Note to the buyer: THIS DOES NOT MEAN STAINLESS STEEL WILL NEVER RUST OR CORRODE because current technology has not developed any steel which is completely stain or corrosion proof. You can rest assured the stainless steel type and finish selected for featherland bird homes is the best available for the intended use.


Type 304 is commonly used for chemical processing equipment, for food, dairy, and beverage industries, for heat exchangers, and for the milder chemicals.


Type 304












CLEANING AND CLEANSERS: The basic rule of thumb is to use the mildest cleaning procedure that will do an effective job. Always rinse thoroughly with clear water and dry completely. Frequent cleaning will prolong the service life of stainless steel equipment and help maintain the finish. Ordinary deposits of waste and fluids can usually be removed with soap and water. More stubborn deposits or stuck on debris may require harder rubbing or the use of commercial cleaning products acceptable for use on metal surfaces. When using any cleansing agent, the rubbing should be in the direction of the polish lines or “grain” of the metal. For high luster finishes, clean soft cloths or pads should be used. If especially rough cleaning is necessary, use “stainless steel” wool or nylon or plastic type scrubbers. Test these type of scrubbers in an inconspicuous area first as they could mar or scratch a stainless steel finish. Never use ordinary steel wool or steel brushes on stainless steel surfaces. Minor scale build-up and some hard water spotting may be removed by washing with vinegar followed by a neutralizing rinse with clear water and thorough drying with a soft cloth.


DEODORIZING AGENTS, DISINFECTANTS AND SANITIZERS: The large selection of brands and combinations of chemicals available for deodorizing, disinfecting and sanitizing is staggering. Select one or more of these products for use for your featherland bird homes after weighing all the benefits claimed by each product. Be sure to consider all of the effects the cleansing agents may have on your featherland bird homes. IMPORTANT: BEFORE SELECTING A CHEMICAL, REVIEW LABEL STATEMENTS REGARDING USE WITH METALS (STAINLESS STEEL). ALWAYS CONSULT THE CHEMICAL SUPPLIER IF THERE ARE ANY DOUBTS.


Electropolishing is an electrochemical process similar to, but the reverse of, electroplating. The electropolishing process smoothes and streamlines the microscopic surface of a metal object. As a result, the surface of the metal is microscopically featureless, with not even the smallest speck of a torn surface remaining.

In electropolishing, the metal is removed ion by ion from the surface of the metal object being polished. Electrochemistry and the fundamental principles of electrolysis (Faraday’s Law) replace traditional mechanical finishing techniques, including grinding, milling, blasting and buffing as the final finish. In basic terms, the object to be electropolished is immersed in an electrolyte and subjected to a direct electrical current. The object is maintained anodic, with the cathodic connection being made to a nearby metal conductor.

During electropolishing, the polarized surface film is subjected to the combined effects of gassing (oxygen), which occurs with electrochemical metal removal, saturation of the surface with dissolved metal and the agitation and temperature of the electrolyte.

Smoothness of the metal surface is one of the primary and most advantageous effects of electropolishing. During the process, a film of varying thickness covers the surfaces of the metal. This film is thickest over microdepressions and thinnest over microprojections. Electrical resistance is at a minimum wherever the film is thinnest, resulting in the greatest rate of metallic dissolution. Electropolishing selectively removes microscopic high points or “peaks” faster than the rate of attack on the corresponding micro-depressions or “valleys.” Stock is removed as metallic salt. Metal removal under certain circumstances is controllable and can be held to 0.0001 to 0.0025 inch.

In summary, electropolishing removes metal. It does not move it or wipe it. As a result, the surface of the metal is microscopically featureless, with not even the smallest speck of a torn surface remaining. The basic metal surface is subsequently revealed – bright, clean and microscopically smooth. By contrast, even a very fine mechanically finished surface will continue to show smears and other directionally oriented patterns or effects.

Mitch Rezman

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