Advantages of Stainless Steel Electrolytic Polishing | EST Chemical Group

1. Formation of Passivation Layer, Improving Corrosion Resistance:

The corrosion resistance of stainless steel is based on the formation of a passivation layer consisting of chromium oxide (Cr2O3). Several factors can lead to damage of the passivation layer, including surface impurities, tensile stress induced by mechanical processing, and the formation of iron scales during heat treatment or welding processes. Additionally, local chromium depletion caused by thermal or chemical reactions is another factor contributing to passivation layer damage. Electrolytic polishing does not damage the material’s matrix structure, is free from impurities and local defects. Compared to mechanical processing, it does not result in chromium and nickel depletion; on the contrary, it can lead to slight enrichment of chromium and nickel due to the solubility of iron. These factors lay the foundation for the formation of a flawless passivation layer. Electrolytic polishing is applied in medical, chemical, food, and nuclear industries where high corrosion resistance is required. Since electrolytic polishing is a process that achieves microscopic surface smoothness, it enhances the appearance of the workpiece. This makes electrolytic polishing suitable for applications in the medical field, such as internal implants used in surgeries (e.g., bone plates, screws), where both corrosion resistance and biocompatibility are essential.

2. Removal of Burrs and Edges

The ability of electrolytic polishing to completely remove fine burrs on the workpiece depends on the shape and size of the burrs themselves. The burrs formed by grinding are easier to remove.However, for larger burrs with thick roots, a pre-deburring process may be required, followed by economical and effective removal through electrolytic polishing. This is particularly suitable for fragile mechanical parts and areas that are difficult to reach. Thus, deburring has become an essential application of electrolytic polishing technology, especially for precision mechanical components, as well as optical, electrical, and electronic elements.A unique feature of electrolytic polishing is its ability to make the cutting edges sharper, combining deburring and polishing to greatly enhance the sharpness of blades, significantly reducing shear forces. In addition to removing burrs, electrolytic polishing also eliminates micro-cracks and embedded impurities on the workpiece surface. It removes surface metal without significantly affecting the surface, introducing no energy to the surface, making it a stress-free surface compared to surfaces subjected to tensile or compressive stresses. This improvement enhances the fatigue resistance of the workpiece.

3. Improved Cleanliness, Reduced Contamination

The cleanliness of a workpiece’s surface depends on its adhesion characteristics, and electrolytic polishing substantially reduces the adhesiveness of adhering layers on its surface. In the nuclear industry, electrolytic polishing is used to minimize the adhesion of radioactive contaminants to contact surfaces during operations. Under the same conditions, the use of electrolytically polished surfaces can reduce contamination during operations by approximately 90% compared to acid-polished surfaces. Additionally, electrolytic polishing is employed for controlling raw materials and detecting cracks, making the causes of raw material defects and structural non-uniformity in alloys clear after electrolytic polishing.

4. Suitable for Irregularly Shaped Workpieces

Electrolytic polishing is also applicable to irregularly shaped and non-uniform workpieces. It ensures a uniform polishing of the workpiece surface, accommodating both small and large workpieces, and even allows for the polishing of complex internal cavities.

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