Beauty Isn't Skin Deep with Electropolishing
BY NICK G. We've been told our entire lives that what's on the inside matters most, not what's on the outside. But when it comes to metal finishing, though, we tend to forget.
We treat stainless steel parts by soaking them in chemical baths. We cover up our work with expensive plating. We layer parts in protective coatings that wear off. By focusing on what's inside your metal parts, though, and not what's on the outside, you can show off their true beauty — and it starts by stripping down.
Electropolishing has been used on metal parts for decades, but it's still a commonly misunderstood process. The combination of chemical polishing solutions and electricity allows finishers to effectively strip off the outer skin of a metal part, leaving behind a shiny, contaminant-free surface that was in there all along. The particles of the outer skin are pulled off uniformly in the electrochemical bath, so the amount of metal removed — as little as .0002 inches — is the same across the entire part.
So, what does it actually do? A lot, actually. Electropolishing pulls off burrs and smoothes out surface imperfections, making parts 30 times more corrosion resistant than passivation, increasing their lifespans and improving their functionality. All that, and they shine like brand new.
Posted 17/09/2013 by Reg Tucker
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