Coatings Simulate Stainless Steel, Brass and Copper

August 23, 2019

Stainless steel, a premium material used to manufacture a variety of products, commands a high price that makes it unaffordable to many customers. In an innovative approach from Universal Chemicals & Coatings (Unichem), a high-performance industrial finish comprised of a protective coating paired with a special substrate, part of the company’s uniPon line of interior decorative and performance coatings, is adhered to a variety of lower-cost metallic materials. 

The durable combination results in the brilliance of a polished and brushed stainless-steel look while meeting or exceeding a battery of domestic-appliance tests, such as for kitchen and laundry appliances, and resists scratches, stains, chemicals and fingerprints, according to company officials. A similar approach simulates a range of brass- and copper-coated products ranging from blinds and curtain rods to decorative food containers and tobacco tins as well as cosmetic and mason-jar lids.

“The simulated-stainless-steel finish basically is a durable protective-coating system that features a printed stainless-steel pattern on a variety of substrates, which can include tinplate, cold-rolled steel or other alloys depending on performance requirements,” explains Dan Chin, Unichem CTO.

By varying the coating color from clear to opaque in a variety of tints, the coating also can be made to look like brass, copper, brushed nickel or antique bronze, says Chin.

“The simulated stainless steel and other simulated coatings often are less expensive than the comparable laminate,” he says. “That’s because laminates usually fall into the thickness range of 4 to 8 mil, while the coatings measure well under 1 mil. And, because it is applied efficiently in a high-speed coil-coating process, it becomes less expensive to apply the coating than a laminate, whether on a coil line or inhouse.”

The simulated-metal coatings with their accompanying substrates are formable, and reportedly can be made ductile enough to withstand even deep-draw forming.

Industry-Related Terms: Alloys, Brass, Color, Stainless Steel, Stains, Substrate, Thickness
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: Unichem Industries Inc

Technologies: Finishing, Materials


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