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Gloster's stainless steel finish
Stainless steel is the generic name for a number of different steels used primarily for their resistance to corrosion. The one key element they all share is a certain minimum percentage of chromium of 10.5%. Gloster manufactures using 304 grade stainless steel with an electro-polished (EP) finish brushed finish. Electro-polishing is widely used in the electronics, food and medical industries and on components for cruise ships and yachts, where a corrosion resistant, smooth and easy to maintain surface is of vital importance.
Electro-polishing is an electrochemical process whereby the combination of an electrical current and a strong acid erodes the surface of the stainless steel substrate atom by atom. This process removes much of the iron from the surface of the steel, but leaves the chrome intact, resulting in more shiny, but much improved corrosion resistant surface.
Before leaving the Gloster factory
As with any item left permanently outside, even electro-polished stainless steel furniture requires regular maintenance to keep it looking as new. Before the furniture leaves our factory the welds are ground flush and the surface is polished with Scotchbrite, usually in the long direction of the legs or rails. This provides a smooth surface that is easy to clean and maintain.
Maintaining stainless steel furniture
Although stainless steel is generally resistant to corrosion, the surface is susceptible to cosmetic deterioration by the effects of salt water and air-borne chemicals and this may result in small brown spots appearing on its surface (this process is likely to be accelerated in coastal areas). These spots in no way affect the strength, integrity or longevity of the furniture, they are simply superficial discolorations that require cleaning to restore the stainless steel to its original appearance.
With all Gloster products a Scotchbrite pad is included. If any brown spots appear on the stainless steel they can be easily cleaned by gently rubbing the surface of the steel, in the direction of the brushed finish, with the pad. If these deposits are allowed to build up, then it may be necessary to clean the product more thoroughly with a stainless steel cleaner and polisher, which cleans and restores the new look of stainless steel furniture and makes the surface repellent to both dirt and water. Be sure to check the manufacturers instructions for the application of the stainless steel cleaner, and test on a discreet spot first.
Storing your stainless steel furniture
If you do store you furniture away for the winter (and unless you have the room there really is no need) make sure it is protected from any scratches from adjacent objects. Also ensure your furniture is clean and dry before packing it away.