On colors of stainless-steel surfaces polished with magnetic abrasives

Akash Tiwari, Fang Xu, Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Hitomi Yamaguchi, Satish T.S. Bukkapatnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Multiple colors visible to the naked eye across the internal surfaces of stainless-steel 304 tubes polished with a magnetic abrasive finishing (MAF) process were investigated at varying levels of magnification. The colors were found to result from microscopic colored features of four different hues — green, blue, red, and yellow — having irregular sizes and shapes. Spectral analysis of their dispersion indicates that these colored features appear along the lay marks generated during MAF. Surface characterization employing energy dispersive spectroscopy and instrumented indentation testing indicates the presence of films of non-stochiometric chromium oxide and nickel oxide in the colored regions. Variations in the momentum and the density of the abrasive particles interacting with the surface during the MAF process, together with the chemical composition and morphology of the surface, provide thermodynamic conditions favorable for a non-uniform growth of the oxides film. Local color is dependent on the local composition and thickness of the oxides film.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2549-2559
Number of pages11
JournalApplied optics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 20 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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