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Why Paint Stainles Steel?

Are air-dry epoxy coatings suitable for application on 304 and 316 stainless steel materials?

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Q. I am looking for reference material on air-dry epoxy coatings suitable for application on 304 and 316 stainless steel materials. One of our customers recently requested that we paint the stainless steel products we supply him for added corrosion protection. Does this seem like a reasonable request? J.L.

A. Although I’m not a metallurgist and am not sure about the alloys of stainless steel, I do know that all stainless steel is not corrosion resistant. If 304 is muffler grade stainless steel, it could rust if used outdoors and would be protected by an epoxy primer. If not, it would be overkill. Used indoors it would definitely be overkill.

As far as 316 stainless steel, again I’m not sure. If it is subject to corrosion outdoors, the same rules would apply. On the other hand, stainless steel is often painted for decorative purposes. 

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