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Stainless steel wire in interior decoration

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The use of stainless steel in interior decoration is a fairly recent phenomenon, quite coherent with the modernity of this material and its widespread production increasing at a yearly rate of over 5% since the 1950’s. Not surprisingly, stainless steel wire has found a broad array of such uses due to its good formability and also its ability to be put in mesh form (via weaving, knitting, crimping) and wire rope/cable form through stranding. The many applications of stainless wire in interior decoration are usually segmented as follows:

- General decoration of interiors of buildings: these applications cover interior decoration of office buildings, shopping malls, museums, theaters, etc... They are a natural component of decorative uses of stainless steels in overall architecture. Stainless steel wire is thus found as wire ropes connecting posts in stairways to complement hand rails made of stainless tubes, in balustrade applications of similar type : such applications combine decorative and structural functionalities. Stainless steel wire in a wide variety of meshes can be found as metallic fabric and drapery for wall cladding decoration. Ring mesh curtains with single wire or wire ropes are often found in shopping malls as dividers. Modern designers can propose and realize very elegant combinations of stainless steel tubes, wire ropes and wood in staircases for building interiors.

- Restaurants and upscale shops: there too, stainless steel wire is in demand for purely decorative reasons as well as functional, in keeping with the luster and cleanliness image of stainless steel. Thus stainless steel wire meshes can be found as: functional partitions, mesh drapery curtains and intercrimp wire meshs for decorative purposes. Also, certain lounge seats and bar stools of “trendy” designs can combine elegantly stainless steel wire mesh and cushions.

- Home decoration & furnishing: mixing functionality and beauty, stainless steel wire mesh was recently used in the renovation of a large luxury apartment complex in Chicago: elegant wall panels offered distinctive decoration while concealing mechanical equipment and complex home control systems. Stainless steel as a modern trendsetter is often combined with glass in dining room and sitting room furniture such as dining room table and chairs, coffee tables, bar stools, lamp stands with intertwined wire, modern design chandeliers, etc... Stainless steel wire is also widely used for art work either in free standing structures or framed with a background of velvet for wall hanging. Finally, stainless steel wire mesh are found in partition screens and also draperies in bathrooms.

In view of the low level of corrosion resistance required for interior decoration, stainless steel grades used are mostly austenitic 304 with its elegant gray luster and also ferritic 430 where bright and shiny appearance is needed.

Contributed by Philippe Maitrepierre – Doctor of Science (PhD) in Materials

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