Experience the American Bright Works Advantage


Passivation is the use of an acid bath on various metals to form or grow an oxide layer on the metal, creating a more stable surface layer that is resistant to corrosion. Although stainless steel is naturally corrosion resistant, during the machining or forming process, microscopic amounts of tooling steel and free iron can become embedded in, or smeared across, the machined surface. If the part is left “as is” off of the machine, a coating of rust may appear over time. This is not the parent stainless steel that is corroding; it is the free iron that has been embedded in the surface of the part. Thus, formation of a passivation layer is a critical step in ensuring maximum corrosion resistance in machined stainless steel components.

Passivation is not a cleaning operation in itself, but it is extremely important that the metal surface is free of grease, oils, coolants, or other dirt and debris. Equally as important is removing residual scale from heat treating prior to the passivating process. American Bright Works is happy to assist with special cleaning needs for an additional charge.
When done correctly, passivation will:

  • Provide an ultra-clean, corrosion resistant surface
  • Maximize the Cr/Fe ration in the protective oxide film
  • Remove surface contaminants including iron, sulfides, phosphates and other anodic impurities resulting from exposure to the environment
  • Prepare surfaces for subsequent finishing processes


  • ASTM A967-17
  • ASTM A380
  • ASTM B912-02 (passivation by electropolish)
  • ASTM F86-21
  • AMS-QQ-P-35
  • AMS 2700
  • Many other industry and customer specific standards

Post Passivate Testing in Accordance with ASTM A967-17:

  • Practice A Water Immersion Testing
  • Practice B High Humidity Testing
  • Practice C Salt Spray Testing
  • Practice D Copper Sulfate Testing

American Bright Works has both citric and nitric acid passivation tanks. We use only semiconductor grade nitric acid. In addition, our tanks are monitored on a regular basis. Acid concentrations are titrated and recorded on process control charts, and passivate tanks are changed on a regular schedule. Passivated parts are final-rinsed in ultra clean deionized water of 15-18 megaohms.

At American Bright Works we understand that time is money. We provide rapid and economical passivation services as a standard. Our technicians have over 100 years of combined experience and the ability to configure a process to your specific needs. American Bright Works Passivation process is a validated process. 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 Passivation is a good fit for your application.