About Stainless Steel

TSM offers a wide variety of products in stainless steel, including grab bars, shower and tub seats, corner guards, shower rods, washroom accessories and railing. It is well known as an extremely hardy metal that requires little upkeep. No other material compares to the life cycle costing of stainless steel, which takes into account not only the initial cost but subsequent maintenance, repair and replacement.

In addition to the enduring quality, environmental friendliness and easy maintenance of stainless steel there is, of course, its classic beauty. Stainless steel adds a clean, modern, upscale design to any installation.

Types Of Stainless Steel Used At TSM

TSM is a specialist in the fabrication and handling of stainless steel. There are many different kinds of stainless steel, with varying metallurgical structures. The TSM standard for tubular products is Type 304 stainless, an austenitic stainless steel which contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel (and is therefore often referred to as 18-8 stainless.) TSM tubular products can be used indoors or outdoors in wet or dry environments. The TSM standard for corner guards is Type 430 ferritic stainless steel, which does not contain nickel. For more information on the composition of stainless steel and its uses, contact the Specialty Steel Industry of the United States, 3050 K Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20007, tel 202/342-8630, fax 202/338-5534.

How To Care For Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has excellent corrosion resistance, luster, strength and durability. However, it is not stain or rust proof. Regular maintenance is required to keep stainless steel clean and free of contaminants.

In most applications, stainless will not rust or stain even after many years of service. However, stressful environments such as marine, polluted surroundings, salted highways, concentrated chlorine or other situations where stainless may be exposed to corrosive elements require proper care and maintenance.

Do's & Don'ts:
  • Do clean stainless frequently with soap and water. Any cleaner safe for glass is usually safe for stainless; apply with a cotton cloth.
  • Do use a coating to help safeguard stainless, such as a good car wax, for added beauty and protection.
  • Do remove discoloration or rust spots as soon as possible with a brass, silver or chrome cleaner. Irreversible pitting will develop under rust that remains on stainless for any period of time. Apply a mild abrasive cleaner such as Bon Ami, Ajax or their equivalent with a wet cotton cloth in the direction of the grain of the finish. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry. Stains which resist the above treatment may require scouring in the direction of the grain with stainless steel wool and a mild abrasive cleaner in creamy paste form. If scraping is required, use stainless steel pads, sponges, wood or plastic tools. Note: Indoor pool rails and ladders require particularly frequent maintenance due to chlorine vapors.
  • Don't use coarse abrasives like sandpaper or steel wool on stainless. These may actually cause rusting.
  • Don't clean with mineral acids or bleaches.
  • Don't leave stainless in contact with iron, steel or other metals which cause contamination leading to rust or corrosion.
  • Don't store near any chlorine product.

About Brass

TSM offers grab bars and railing systems in brass that add an elegant, warm touch to any environment. The brass is alloy CDA 274.

Clear Coated Brass

Although brass can be coated with a protective clear baked enamel finish, TSM recommends uncoated brass for most applications, especially public and high traffic areas. Applied finishes always carry some risk of damage by vandals or untrained cleaning personnel. The clear enamel finish can be easily scratched by vigorous cleaning, which allows oxidation to begin and spread underneath the remaining clear coat. To remove fingerprints and watermarks from the enamel finish, wipe with a damp soft cotton cloth then dry.

Clear coated brass is often a good choice, however, for residential or executive washrooms. An uncoated brass bar in a shower or bath requires cleaning after each use, which is too often to be practical.

Do's & Don'ts for Uncoated Brass:
  • Do polish regularly with a good metal polish and a soft cotton cloth whenever tarnish appears. (Note: It is much easier to polish brass as soon as tarnish appears than to wait until it is heavily tarnished.)
  • Do apply a light coat of paste auto wax containing carnauba wax to retard tarnishing and help protect the finish.
  • Don't use spray furniture waxes as they may contain ingredients that cause tarnish.
  • Don't use cleansers, steel wool or any other abrasive material.