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The attractive and hygienic surface appearance of stainless steel products cannot be regarded as completely maintenance free.  Provided the grade, condition and surface finish were correctly selected for the particular service environment, fabrication and installation procedures were correct and that cleaning schedules are carried out regularly, good performance and long life will be achieved. 

At Metal-Tex we always ask you where the material is to be applied.  We help you select the grade of steel most appropriate.  As a rule we select SS316 and only recommend SS304 in those cases where the application is a clean interior application not subject to adverse conditions. 


Maintenance During Installation 

Strong acid solutions (e.g. hydrochloric acid or “spirits of salts”) are sometimes used to clean masonry and tiling during building construction but they should never be permitted to come into contact with metals, including stainless steel. If this should happen the acid solution must be removed immediately by copious water flushing, but even if promptly removed the appearance of the steel may be unacceptably changed.  Please contact us immediately for more specific instructions. 

Fabricators/installers need to prevent the fabric coming into contact with other types of metal or different grades of steel.  Only work with one metal at a time. 

On-Going Maintenance 

A rule of thumb for many exterior building installations is to clean the stainless steel whenever the nearby glass needs cleaning. This may vary from once to four times a year for external applications. Suggested cleaning intervals are as in this table – these should be modified by experience. Note that natural rain is an effective cleaner– those items that are not washed by rain water may need more frequent maintenance cleaning.
 

Environment

SS304:  Clean Once Every:

SS316: Clean Once Every:

Exterior: Clean Inland

3 to 6 Months

6 to 12 months

Exterior: Polluted Urban or Industrial

Not suitable

6 to 12 months

Exterior: Coastal/Marine (not splashed)

Not suitable

3 to 6 months

Interior: Habitable

12 months

12 months


Please note that Metal-Tex cannot guarantee the performance of stainless steel in situations where the corrosive elements have not been rectified.