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    Measurement of Appearance Characteristics of Stainless Steel

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    One of the primary reasons for the selection of stainless steel for architectural and automotive uses is its inherent ability to retain its original beauty for long periods of time. Appearance, therefore, is important for matching the alloy or finish to a particular application. The physical characteristics that affect the appearance of a metal surface include many factors such as color, gloss, haze, texture, directionality, shape, and several others not yet categorized. Present day visual methods consider all of these factors simultaneously but are incapable of determining which attribute is the most influential to a particular appearance. This paper describes instrumental methods now available in the laboratory to measure some of the attributes mentioned above but which are not used widely to measure and control appearance during production. This paper consists of color, gloss, haze, and directionality data, and pictorial views of three bright and three diffuse stainless steel finishes selected to best show the surface variations usually obtained. High magnification electron micrographs of each surface are included also. The paper shows that there are certain measurements and photographic techniques that can be useful for evaluating the appearance of ferritic and austenitic steel surfaces if they are applied carefully.


    appearance, stainless steel, gloss, color, haze, orientation, electron microscopes, characteristics, evaluation, tests

    Author Information:

    Glubish, A. E.
    Allegheny Ludlum Industries, Inc., Brackenridge, Pa.

    Committee/Subcommittee: E12.04

    DOI: 10.1520/STP47442S