When metal assemblies require a shiny, smooth surface, electropolishing is often performed after the brazing process is complete. An electrochemical process that is designed to remove material from an assembly, electropolishing is often used in place of more stringent metal treatments to polish, passivate, and/or deburr metal. Industry reports show that up to 95% of electropolishing is performed in stainless steel. The process is also performed on medical grades of exotic metals such as titanium and nitinol, and occasionally on carbon steel.
The Electropolishing Process
Electropolishing typically consists of immersing the assembly in a bath of viscous electrolyte solution that has acidic properties (e.g., phosphoric acid). The workpiece serves as an anode and is connected to a Direct Current (DC) power supply, with the negative supply being attached to a cathode. As electricity flows from the anode to the cathode, metal from the surface of the assembly oxidizes and dissolves into the electrolyte solution. After undergoing this process, the surface of the assembly has been electropolished.
The Benefits Of Electropolishing
A provider of brazing services may recommend that stainless steel assemblies receive electropolishing to polish, passivate, and/or deburr their surface metal. Ultimately, the reason for the procedure depends on the final application of the assembly. Performing electropolishing on stainless steel assemblies can deliver the following important benefits, among others.
Complete removal of surface contamination
Making surfaces easier to clean and maintain
Removing fine burs from precision components
Improved passivity of the oxide layer
Removal of trapped air and gas near the surface of the metal
Reducing bacterial colonization on metal’s surface
A provider of brazing services can provide additional information about the benefits of electropolishing and the situations in which the procedure should be applied.
Call Franklin Brazing
Would electropolishing be a beneficial treatment for your stainless steel assemblies? Depending on their final application, the answer may be yes. To discuss your brazing services needs and whether electropolishing would be a beneficial post brazing treatment for your stainless assemblies, call Franklin Brazing — a leading provider of commercial metal treatment services for over 30 years — today.