Updated: Jan 28, 2019
The polishing industry is a unique fixture in the metals supply chain because all industries and original equipment manufacturers (“OEMS”) need metals, whether stainless steel, aluminum, bronze, brass, or copper, to be polished for required end-use specifications. The architectural industry relies on metals polishing for aesthetics. If you walk around New York City, Philadelphia, or Chicago, you are sure to see polished stainless steel or polished aluminum forming the support beams of canopies or acting as the frames for glass facades and installations. Angles, channels, I-beams and other structural shapes are the key components for architectural fabricators and the common finishes for those items are #4, #8 mirror, and non-directional. The mechanical grinding of metal and the imparting of a fine finish on the metals’ surface increases the aesthetic qualities of the metal making it highly attractive to architects, architectural fabricators, and design professionals.
Besides improving the attractiveness of metals, polishing has a substantive effect on a wide variety of industries. Some the most common industries requiring polishing are: pharmaceutical, food & beverage, trucking, biochemical, petrochemical, marine, and aviation. All of these industries need metals polishing in their move to market. The remainder of this blog will take each industry and provide the basic end-use applications for polishing:
The pharmaceutical industry is a cornerstone of the American economic system. The pharmaceutical market in the United States—not including research and design—is approximately $340 billion annually. Metals polishing plays a key role in allowing pharmaceutical companies take their drugs to market. Pharmaceutical companies use primarily stainless steel in the construction of their laboratories across the United States. The stainless steel is polished for sanitary reasons and to ensure clean room environments. Additionally, the pipe and tube involved in the mixing of pharmaceutical compounds requires the inner diameter (“ID”) to be polished to avoid contamination and the growth of bacteria.
Food & Beverage
The food & beverage industry relies on polishing for sanitary end-uses. Strict regulatory oversight by the Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) requires food & beverage industries to use polished stainless steel and other non-ferrous metals.
One of the unexpected industries touched by polishing is trucking. The outside of tractor trailers are formed with polished stainless steel sheet and plate to increase the tractor trailer’s durability.
Biochemical & Petrochemical
The biochemical and petrochemical industries are heavily regulated for safety and anti-contaminate purposes. One of the main end-uses for polishing in this industry is flow rate. The pipes and tubes used in these industries need a seamless flow rate thereby requiring substantial ID polishing.
The marine industry uses metal polishing to improve the aesthetics of stainless steel and aluminum. Additionally, polishing increases the anti-corrosive properties of stainless steel and aluminum thereby precluding saline deterioration.
The aviation industry uses metals polishing to increase the durability of hydraulic lines.
Although many may consider the polishing industry as conjunctive to the metals sector, polishing has a wide array of uses and is an important part of many end-uses. At Diamond Brite Metals, we pride ourselves on how our work is present in every industry across the United States. We look forward to working with you and your customer to ensure your project’s specifications are met. Please reach out to our sales desk at Sales@diamondbritemetals.com for any questions or RFQs.