Stainless steel polishing and grinding is known as one of the most difficult projects. This is because most stainless steel polishing requires a mirror-like finish devoid of even the slightest of scratches or pinholes. The polishing process usually consists of 3 to 7 (or more) process depending on where you start from. The polishing wheel, cotton wheel, non-woven wheel, and polishing paste are materials commonly used for polishing. The hard and tough polishing wheel is used in first stage and then the softer cotton wheels.
The cold stainless steel is rolled, softened and descaled. It then receives a final light pass on polished rolls known as a ‘pinch pass’. The steel remains gray in appearance, but the final pass on polished rolls produces a smoother, brighter surface. Check out this video showing an example of the process.
Chrome is slang for Chromium, one of the 92 naturally occurring chemical elements. Chrome is a metal, but it is not useful as a solid, pure substance.
Things are never made of solid chrome. The bulk of the object is usually steel but sometimes it can be aluminum, brass, copper, plastic, or stainless steel. When you hear that something is chrome, what it really means is that it is a thin layer of chrome (a plating of chrome) on the object. Decorative chrome plating is sometimes called nickel-chrome plating because it always involves electroplating nickel onto the object before plating the chrome (it sometimes also involves electroplating copper onto the object before the nickel, too). The nickel plating provides the smoothness, much of the corrosion resistance, and most of the reflectivity. The chrome plating is exceptionally thin, measured in millionths of an inch rather than in thousandths.
A cause of confusion is the fact that people may tend to describe any shiny finish as “chrome” even when it really has nothing to do with chromium. For example, brightly polished aluminum motorcycle parts, electro-polished stainless steel boat rigging, vacuum metallized Mylar balloons and helmets, semi-shiny painted wheels, and nickel plated oven racks are sometimes called ‘chrome’ by the lay person. Now, chrome is always applied by electro-plating, it is never melted onto parts in the fashion of chocolate on strawberries, sprayed on like paint, or applied in any other way than by electroplating. Note that everything that is somewhat reflective is not necessarily real chrome plating. Indeed it’s not always easy to tell real chrome plating from other finishes if the parts are not side by side.
Submitted by Dwayne