The optimal metal finishing chosen for an application can significantly influence the performance and success of a project. When selecting the finish for a part or product, it is important to keep in mind what best suits the specific use case. The following blog post provides an overview of the different finishes available, including their properties and typical uses, to facilitate proper finish selection for industrial applications.

metal finishing

No. 1 Finish: Furnace Components

Achieving a No. 1 Finish involves hot rolling stainless steel—i.e., heating and then rolling it. Once the steel alloy has been hot rolled, it is annealed to produce a single, uniform microstructure. This process helps the material to meet mechanical property requirements set out by project designers and engineers.

Typical applications of No. 1 Finish include turbine and furnace components, such as casings, heat exchangers, linings, stacks, and supports.

No. 2B Finish: General Purpose Steel

A No. 2B Finish is typically applied on general-purpose steel to create an aesthetically appealing reflective surface that resembles a cloudy mirror. This finish finds application in a wide range of products, including the following:

  • Industrial equipment, such as for the baking, chemical, paper, pharmaceutical, plumbing, refrigeration, and sewage industries
  • Commercial equipment, such as appliances, flatware, wheel covers, etc.

Bright Annealed BA/2BA Finish: Fully Mirrored Surfaces

Bright annealed BA/2BA finishes provide a part or product surface similar to a highly polished mirror without the cost associated with producing fully mirrored and rolled surfaces. The low-cost of these finishes makes them suitable for use in mass production operations in the commercial sector. Some examples of products that typically use these finishes are:

No. 3 Finish: High-End Commercial or Lab Application

No. 3 finishes often find application in high-end commercial or laboratory operations. This finish is moderately reflective, easy to keep clean, and aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, it’s simple to polish the finish mechanically and, if desired, gradually finer abrasives may be used during the process to create surface patterns that mimic the appearance of mechanical abrasion. Some products commonly finished in this manner include:

  • Brewing equipment
  • Scientific lab tools
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Food processing systems

American Industrial: Your Metal Finishing Partner

At American Industrial Company (AIC), we have almost three decades of experience serving as a quality manufacturer. We specialize in providing complete turnkey manufacturing solutions, including prototype design, precision metal stamping, and optimal metal finishing. By partnering with us for their metal part needs, customers benefit from our:

  • Centralized facility
  • Streamlined operations
  • Faster turnaround
  • Competitive prices
  • Superior customer service
  • Quality products

For additional information on our finishing or other manufacturing capabilities, contact us today. One of our friendly and knowledgeable team members will be happy to speak with you about your upcoming project.


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