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Electropolishing of metals is carried out in an acidic electrochemical solution. The polishing of the metal is attained by applying low voltage current through both the part (+) and a nearby metal conductor, or cathode (-). This action removes small amounts of metal from the surface. Microscopic high points of metal are removed at a faster rate than microscopic low points, resulting in an improved surface finish that is smooth, bright and shiny. Actual results may be affected by the alloy of the material, grain size, original surface condition and the amount of material removed.

While stainless steel is naturally corrosion resistant, microscopic metallic and non-metallic impurities become embedded in the surface during the machining or manufacturing process and could cause the stainless steel to tarnish or corrode. Mechanical polishing of these surfaces cause the impurities to become further embedded in the metal. Electropolishing dissolves the minute surface layer, removing the metallic and non-metallic impurities, resulting in a clean, passive layer that is extremely corrosion resistant.

Benefits of Electropolish:

  • Passivates the metal
  • Creates a smooth, bright finish that is aesthetically pleasing
  • Deburrs and breaking sharp edges
  • Increases lubricity
  • Removes hydrogen, which can contribute to metal fatigue and bacterial growth
  • Removes Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) recast layers
  • Removes discoloration that may occur in heat treating

Most Commonly Electropolished Metals:

  • 300 Series Stainless Steel
  • 400 Series Stainless Steel
  • Elgiloy
  • MP35N
  • Nitronic 60
  • 15-5 Stainless Steel
  • 17-4 Stainless Steel

Electropolishing at American Bright Works conforms to the following specifications:

  • ASTM B912
  • ASTM A967
  • ASTM A380

Our technicians have over 100 years of combined experience in the industry and the ability to configure a process to your specific needs. Fixturing for inaccessible areas, low current density areas, or ID’s are all possible.

American Bright Works Electropolishing process is a validated process. The Electropolishing process does remove a small amount of material and it is important for us to be aware of tight tolerance areas on your part. Processing data is all stored in our part specific data base, ensuring process repeatability. It is important to us and you that your parts are processed exactly the same for every order submitted to American Bright Works.

Contact American Bright Works today to see if Electropolish is a good fit for your application.