Colouring stainless steel

Colouring of stainless steel in connection with electropolishing

The HENKEL-Interference-Technic (HIT) takes advantage of one of the stainless steel properties, which is to create transparent layers consisting of chromium oxides on the surface. The process uses sulfuric solutions at appropriate composition and temperature, whereby the passive layer is strengthened and depending on its thickness characteristic colors including bronze, gold and blue are created by the interference effect of the incidence of light.

Due to the transparency of the interference film the surface of the feedstock is not covered. The structure e.g. the grinding or an imprint on the surface remains.

As the mechanism of coloration is not based on adding dyes or pigments (which are subject to environmental influcences) the surfaces which have been colored with the HENKEL-Interference-Technic are absolutely resistant to light, weather and deterioration.

Advantages of electropolished surfaces

Before the coloration process the component is usually electropolished in order to achieve a consistent and defined surface condition which gives the stainless steel the specific properties following our electrochemical treatment.

Electropolished surfaces

  • have better cleaning conditions
  • are more hygienic
  • have improved corrosion and fatigue resistance
  • are metallic clean, smooth, have a closed topography and are minimized in extending
  • have less friction and abrasion wear
  • do not have burrs, tinsel and scales on edges and surfaces

The combination of electrochemical pretreatment and subsequent coloring with HENKEL-Interference-Technic VHC3000 offers perfect surface treatment for wrought material and semi-finished products made of stainless steel.

  • The surface becomes attractive and decorative as well as technically functual
  • The aesthetic of the metal character is shown to advantage
  • The surface of the stainless steel comes alive