Why you can't burnish stainless steel: A look behind the scenes

Dr. Galva®
2023-05-31 14:47:00 / Blog posts / Comments 0

Stainless steel is a valuable material with unique properties that is used in many industries. In this blog, we take a look behind the scenes and learn why stainless steel cannot be burnished. We take a look at the nature of the material as well as the techniques and processes required for burnishing. Let's explore the world of stainless steel burnishing together!

What is burnishing?

If you're wondering what burnishing is, you've come to the right place. Burnishing is a process in which metal parts are coated with a protective layer to protect them from corrosion and wear. This protective layer is created by a chemical reaction on the surface of the metal, giving it a characteristic dark colour. Burnishing is often used on weapons and tools to protect them from rust and wear. However, it is not possible to use this process on stainless steel because stainless steel already naturally has a protective layer that protects it from corrosion. Therefore, burnishing stainless steel is not only unnecessary, but also impossible.

Why can't stainless steel be burnished?

Stainless steel is a popular material in the jewellery and watch industry because it is robust and durable. However, many people wonder why stainless steel cannot be burnished. The reason lies in the composition of the material. Stainless steel consists of an alloy of iron, chromium and nickel. This alloy forms a protective layer on the surface of the material that protects it from corrosion and rust. If one tried to burnish stainless steel, this protective layer would be damaged and the material would become susceptible to corrosion and rust. For this reason, it is not possible to burnish stainless steel without affecting its protective properties. However, there are other ways to colour stainless steel, such as anodising or coating it with a special paint.

What are the alternatives to burnishing stainless steel?

If you are looking for alternatives to burnishing stainless steel, there are a few options. One option is anodising, which creates a thin protective layer on the surface of the metal. Another option is pickling, which involves chemically treating the surface of the stainless steel to remove the oxide layer and give it a uniform appearance. Another option is polishing, where the surface of the stainless steel is mechanically treated to achieve a shiny finish. It is important to note that each of these alternatives has its own advantages and disadvantages and it is important to consider the specific requirements of your project before choosing an option.

Conclusion: Why you can't bronze stainless steel

So, why can't you burnish stainless steel? The answer is relatively simple: stainless steel is made up of an alloy of different metals, including chromium and nickel. These metals form a protective layer on the surface of the stainless steel that prevents it from rusting or corroding. If you try to burnish stainless steel, this protective layer is damaged and the steel becomes more susceptible to rust and corrosion. Also, stainless steel is naturally shiny and reflective, which means it is difficult to achieve an even burnishing. There are some special techniques to burnish stainless steel, but these are complicated and require a lot of experience and expertise. So in general, it is best to just leave stainless steel as it is and enjoy its natural beauty.