for garden objects
Stainless steel – a noble material for your garden
Steel types under the term “stainless steel” have a high corrosion resistance. The reason for this is the protective film formed on the surface by the chemical composition which is called “passive layer”. Non-oxidizing steel has a unique ability: it is self-healing. On the basis of its alloy content it develops an extremely thin, transparent passive layer on the surface. Even if the corrosion-resistant steel is scratched or otherwise damaged, this passive layer, which is only a few atomic layers thick, instantly forms a new layer under the influence of oxygen from air or water. That is why stainless steel does not need any coating or other forms of surface protection.
But a certain amount of care must also be given to the stainless steel surface to maintain a good visual appearance.
Properties of the material stainless steel V2A and V4A
“Stainless steel” does not always equal “stainless steel”. In almost all cases, we use the particularly high-quality and corrosion-resistant stainless steel with the material number 1.4404 (V4A) for outdoor use. Compared to the common stainless steel (V2A) this stainless steel has got an increased resistance towards chloride, acids and sulphur dioxide. However, we generally advise against the use of water additives containing chloride, e.g. to reduce water turbidity. If the dosage is too high, corrosion can occur despite the robustness of the material.
Surface – appearance and processing
In general Gartenmetall® can deliver all surfaces. Well-known surfaces are brushed or grinded. In the daily practice in gardening and landscaping it has been shown that “Rotex-ground” surfaces are particularly well suited for garden objects. Because of the undirected polish the sunlight is broken evenly and fingerprints are hardly invisible. And the most important advantage: Scratches, that are caused by installation or use, can be removed easily and without loss of quality on site.
Attention when handling "stainless steel"
Surface rust can also form on stainless steel (V2A and V4A) due to the adhesion of “foreign” iron particles. The particles can get onto the surface e.g. through contact with steel, through rust particles from neighbouring Corten steel surfaces or through cut-off grinding in the area of stainless steel. If the rust particles have not been on the stainless steel surface for a long time, they can usually be removed with a standard kitchen sponge. If the particles have already rusted into the surface, we recommend removing them with special stainless steel cleaners such as our STAINLESS STEEL CARE or the stronger STAINLESS STEEL LOTION.
Cleaning agent for stainless steel surfaces
Maintenance cleaning with surfaces made from stainless steel
In the case of outdoor installation, the cleaning effect of the rain is generally sufficient to remove harmful deposits on the surfaces. But surfaces that are not reached by rain require maintenance cleaning. A detergent solution is usually sufficient to remove fingerprints. For maintenance cleaning and care of stainless steel with other, lighter soiling, especially organic and greasy stains, the mild, milk-like STAINLESS STEEL CARE on alkaline basis is recommended.
Cleaning for persistent stains
A particularly strong stainless steel cleaner, specially developed to remove rust stains on stainless steel, is our Gartenmetall® product STAINLESS STEEL LOTION. When the product is applied, the surfaces are cleaned, visually brightened and treated with a sealant at the same time. The LOTION is not suitable for normal maintenance cleaning of stainless steel, as it sharpens the stainless steel surface. Please test the application on a sample surface before!
More cleaning tips
Scouring powders are unsuitable for cleaning stainless steel as they scratch the surface. Very oily and greasy dirt can be removed with alcohol-based cleaning products e.g. methylated spirits, isopropyl alcohol or acetone which are harmless to stainless steel. Mortar and cement splashes can be removed with warm, diluted phosphoric acid. Then rinse abundantly with neutral, ideally demineralized water. Alternatively vinegar which is diluted with water is also suitable. It just depends on the level of dirt. The same polishing pastes which are used for chrome-plated parts are suitable as supplementary care for stainless steel surfaces.
Tender text for GaLaBau, for landscape architects and planners
“High-quality stainless steel, material number 1.4404, AlSI 316L (V4A) or of equal value, material properties according to DIN EN 10088 – 2. Surface of visible sides rotex-grinded up to sample. All welds stained and passivated.”
Further information on the material "stainless steel"
You can find more information about stainless steel, surface finishes and the care of this noble material on the website of the “Informationsstelle Edelstahl Rostfrei” (ISER). Source reference for this page (in extracts): Information sheet 965 – Cleaning and care of stainless steel in construction (Informationsstelle Edelstahl Rostfrei, 2009).
for basic material