Promoting stainless steel’s natural corrosion resistance through passivation

New England Electropolishing

Promoting stainless steel’s natural corrosion resistance through passivation

Passivation restores the corrosion-resistant layer on the surface of stainless steel manufactured parts.

Stainless steel’s reputation for corrosion resistance is due to a thin, oxygen-enriched layer of chromium that normally occurs on the metal’s surface. When manufacturers cut, weld and machine stainless steel to create a product, they embed free iron and other impurities in the metal. Those impurities react with harsh environments, such as salt-water, chlorine and other chemicals, and eventually cause parts to rust.

Passivation removes contaminants from the metal’s surface that inhibit the formation of the protective chromium oxide layer, which makes stainless steel highly corrosion resistant.

What is the most effective passivation method? Scientific studies point to electropolishing. An abbreviated cycle meets or exceeds the results of such traditional means as nitric acid immersion and citric acid immersion.

That is because electropolishing removes all free iron, reaching impurities embedded below the surface that traditional methods can’t treat. 

By eliminating free iron completely, the process immediately terminates the potential for free iron corrosion and enables stainless steel to form a greater protective layer than chemical passivation methods allow.

Morevover, the corrosion resistance is compliant with ASTM B 912-02 and ASTM A967-13, “Standard Specification for Chemical Passivation Treatments for Stainless Steel Parts.”

At New England Electropolishing, we recommend electropolishing to enable the growth of a natural, inert, oxide layer on all grades of stainless steel. We also offer the nitric and citric acid immersion passivation, however, and recognize there are times when they might be preferable. We look forward to talking to you about which process is best suited for your stainless steel products.

What is Electropolishing?

Electropolishing is an electrochemical and reverse plating process that removes the outer layer of skin on a metal...

The Electropolishing Process

The electropolishing process is initiated by immersing a metal part into a temperature-controlled bath of electrolyte...

Benefits of Electropolishing

Curious about the benefits of putting your parts through the electropolishing process? Read along below where we...

Electropolishing, Reverse Plating & Passivation Explained

Electropolishing is normally used to remove a very thin layer of material on the surface of a metal part or component...

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We’re often asked if electropolishing removes the “heat tint” left on stainless steel fabrications due to welding...

Electropolishing FAQ's

Learn the difference between electropolishing and electroplating as well as how the electropolishing process works...

Working With Us FAQ's

Learn answers to questions regarding the alloys we process to how to set up an account with our company...

Removing Burrs From Threaded Parts

One challenge manufacturers face is removing burrs from threaded stainless steel parts, such as bone screws, instruments and medical devices...

Removing Laser Slag From Medical Device Tubes

Cleaning, deburring, and passivating tubes can present numerous challenges...

Exclusive Offer

Free sample part electropolishing

Send us your sample part and we'll electropolish it and return it to you with a project quote and delivery schedule - no charge.

Contact Info

800.672.6616 or 508.672.6616
220 Shove Street Fall River MA 02724

Open Hours

Our office hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. We do answer our phone, so please don’t hesitate to call!

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