Introduction on Coloured Stainless Steel
AISI 304 is one of the versatile Austenitic Non-magnetic Stainless Steel,

which has good corrosion resistance in a variety of environment including the food we eat . AISI 304 contains 18% Chromium, 8% Nickel, 0.08%Carbon, 2%Max Manganese and 1% Max Silicon. Application of this grade of stainless steel is very extensive and worldwide it has a large consumption.

In 1960s International Nickel located in Birmingham, UK, first invented a process of exhibiting natural colour in AISI 304 by growing the Chromium Oxide film in an Oxidising Environment. Selective Absorption of light at different thickness level leads to manifestation of different colour to human eye. In 1970s, an interdisciplinary research group consisting of metallurgists, physicists, and chemists at Alloy Steels Plant, SAIL, Durgapur in West Bengal, India developed an alternate media for growing the Chromium Oxide Film. This resulted in successful piliot plant scale development. Products were displayed in India Industrial Fares in Pragati Maidan, Delhi. Numerous gift items made of coloured stainless steel were procured by large industry houses for their own use .Use of an acid resistant polymer as a Masking Agent further helped to impart art designs, which has an increased appeal to art loving people. Application of Coloured Stainless Steel includes Dinner Sets, Cutluries, Art Items, Corporate Gifts, Lining in Information Kiosk, Car Panels, Kitchen and Bathroom Tiles, Lady's Bangles etc.

Present initiative has been taken by a group of IIT, Kharagpur Allumni to help an young entrepreneur who has mastered the Technology and also brought in improvements in Quality. He has developed his own brand of polymer for masking a part of the surface, which will retain the original white colour thus enabling contrasts and designs.

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