Electropolishing is an electo-chemical process that smoothens, polishes, deburrs and cleans stainless steel, in an electrolytic bath. The process selectively removes high points on metal surfaces, giving the surface a high luster. Conventional mechanical finishing systems tend to smear, bend, and stress the crystalline metal surface to achieve smoothness or luster. Electropolishing offers the advantage of removing metal from the surface producing a unidirectional pattern that is both stress and occlusion free, and microscopically smooth.
Passivation is the removal of free iron from the surface of the stainless steel. This is done by immersing the steel in an oxidant such as nitric acid. Passivation diminishes surface discoloration and reactivity without affecting thickness.
Pickling (Acid Treatment) is a chemical surface treatment that cleans base metals with a solution that has a pH below 2.0. The acid dissolves and removes oxides, mil-scale and smut.
|PROCESS||TANK SIZE||NADCAP CERTIFIED|
|Electropolishing||5′ × 3′ × 3′||Yes|
|Passivation||2′ × 32″ × 3′||Yes|
|Pickling||2′ × 32″ × 3′||Yes|
The following is a list of applicable specifications for stainless steel treatments along with their title and issuer. Pilkington commonly processes to these specifications and is capable of processing to many more upon request.
|AMS2700||Passivation of Corrosion resistant Steel||Industry Standard|
|ASTM B117||Standard Practice for Operating Salt Spray (Fog) Apparatus||Industry Standard|
|QQ-P-35||Passivation Treatments for Corrosion-resistant Steel||Industry Standard|
Q: What turnaround times can I expect with stainless steel treatments?
Our typical turnaround rate is between 5-10 days. However schedules may vary depending on current demand and size of project. Please contact customer service for scheduling details.
Q: Can you electropolish in color?
No. Electropolishing is the removal of material which brightens the stainless steel. This however will not add any color to your product.
Q: Do you recommend electropolishing or passivation over powder coating?
This largely depends on the end use of your product. Our stainless steel treatments serve many purposes by removing iron and carbon from the surface of the metal. Products are perfectly suited for the food services industry, being FDA approved. Products are used under water as they are completely corrosion resistant. Also, because electropolishing and passivation prevents rust, these processes are often used on products for the medical industry and the aerospace industry. However, powder coating is often recommended over electropolishing for other considerations including cost and versatility. Powder coated steel can be both and cheaper, and stronger on many products.
Q: Do I have to use stainless steel for electropolishing and passivation or can other alloys be processed?
Currently, we offer electropolishing and passivation on stainless steel only. However, electropolishing as a process can be done on other alloys, including aluminum.