Light Interference-Coated Stainless Steel

*Although we do not offer supply only sheets for light interference stainless steel, we are happy to custom fabricate based upon your project’s needs. We selectively partner with vendors offering the highest quality materials available in many sizes and thicknesses. Please call for details.

Light Interference Coatings (LIC) on stainless steel provide a broad range of color which changes in various lights. From a deep blacks to bold bright colors, the light interference process brings a whole spectrum to stainless steel. The fine coating adds an aesthetic layer to the metal without sacrificing the innate high-performance qualities of stainless steel.

There is no material in architectural use today that equals the iridescence produced by light interference on stainless steel. The effect is made by immersing the material in an acid bath, which forms a chromium oxide film layer on the surface. The acid bath produces interference colors by closely controlling the thickness of the chromium oxide film layer. This oxide film layer is clear, yet remarkable colors are produced by the physics of light interference.

The colors generated are those obtainable by separation of the light spectrum. Light reflects off the dual surfaces, the surface of the metal and the surface of the oxide film. Depending on the thickness of the oxide film or the angle of the light reflecting back to the eye, different colors can be obtained. Portions of the light wave are enhanced in relation to other adjacent wavelengths, or portions are counteracted by the misalignment of these wavelengths.

Red interference stainless steel at Museum of Pop Culture provides reds, violets and golds depending on the angle of viewing.
Red interference stainless steel at Museum of Pop Culture provides reds, violets and golds depending on the angle of viewing.
Gold light interference stainless steel with deep undulated surface.
Gold light interference stainless steel with deep undulated surface.
Blue light interference stainless steel on the Team Disney in Anaheim.
Blue light interference stainless steel on the Team Disney in Anaheim.
Gold light interference-coated stainless steel with bumped surface, used on Kauffman Crown.
Gold light interference-coated stainless steel with bumped surface, used on Kauffman Crown.

Works featuring Interference Stainless Steel