Metals such as aluminium and steel are popular materials for many features of both residential and commercial building design. They offer many positive qualities, including strength and flexibility of design. As well as being practical, metal provides a great opportunity to enhance the attractiveness of many building features. For this reason, many steel or aluminium items are given a surface treatment to improve their aesthetic appeal. Here are three common surface treatments that are added during the manufacturing of metal items.
1. Powder coating
Powder coating is a surface treatment for metal that involves spraying fine particles of plastic or polymer onto the metal surface. This serves to protect the metal and also adds an attractive matte finish to the item. Powder coating comes in a wide variety of different colours, which makes it a popular choice for items such as staircases, window frames and furniture.
Powder coating is considered a superior choice over traditionally applied metal paint. It provides a smooth, even surface and is easily used on intricate and curved metal elements. As it dries, the particles fuse together, providing a uniform surface without drips or brush strokes.
Electroplating is a process that involves adding a thin veneer of metal to a base surface using electrical currents. The currents dissolve the metal into small particles which then reassemble on the surface of the item. Metals that are commonly used in electroplating are copper, silver and nickel.
Electroplating is used frequently in the electronics production industry to coat wiring and circuitry. It's also used in the manufacturing of metal products for the residential and commercial building industry. Items such as door handles, tapware and furniture can be electroplated to give them a richer and more attractive surface.
3. Textured finishes
Both steel and aluminium have smooth and shiny finishes. This can be an appealing look, but it can also be impractical and difficult to keep clean in both residential and commercial settings. Textured metal finishes are a great way to diminish the impact of fingerprints or residue buildup and also provide an attractive and modern look for metal items.
Textured finishes can be fine and subtle, such as polishing or brushing. These create a soft and satin-like finish on the metal surface, which is elegant and refined. For a more rugged or industrial look, textured finishes such as sandblasting or acid etching will give the metal a more pronounced and edgy surface.