Titanium is just one of the many alloys we treat at Able Electropolishing. The electropolishing process makes titanium parts last longer and perform better. Titanium’s natural resistance to corrosion and high temperatures, as well as its high tensile strength and biocompatibility, make it a popular alloy in aerospace, medical and marine applications. By electropolishing titanium parts, we improve performance while maintaining the properties that make this alloy unique.
Benefits of Electropolishing Titanium
Electropolishing titanium improves the alloy’s natural corrosion resistance and biocompatibility by performing several operations at once.
Deburring — Titanium parts used in medical applications must be burr-free. Electropolishing medical devices is an effective deburring operation that leaves the surface free of micro-imperfections that can otherwise impede performance.
Sizing — Being a “reverse plating” process, electropolishing titanium removes a controlled, uniform amount of surface metal from a part. The removal ranges between .0001″ and .0015″ per surface. This allows us to accurately size titanium parts without distorting their shapes.
Ultracleaning — Electropolishing titanium medical devices and other parts made from this alloy removes residual debris and other embedded contaminants. This comprehensive cleaning operation is used for critical implantable medical devices like dental and surgical implants, which must be bacteria-free before use. For highly visible metal parts, like surgical tools, it also creates a clean, bright and decorative surface.
Corrosion resistance — Electropolishing titanium removes the outer skin of metal, eliminating micro-surface imperfections that could become initiation sites for corrosion.
Due to the multiple benefits of electropolishing, it is a more effective and versatile process than titanium passivation alone.
The Titanium Electropolishing Process
Titanium electropolishing is an electrochemical process that removes a controlled amount of surface material from the outer layer of a part. Removing this material eliminates surface imperfections, embedded contaminants, sharp edges and burrs, and micro cracks and pits that could lead to corrosion. The surface it leaves behind is smooth, highly corrosion resistant and free of the imperfections that compromise strength and longevity. Electropolished titanium parts are also left with a distinct and lasting shine ideal for consumer products.
Sizing Titanium with Electropolishing
Titanium is frequently used to make parts with little-to-no margin of error, like landing gear, hydraulic systems, rotors, valves and more. When parts like these are even a small fraction of an inch out of tolerance, they are unusable. Electropolishing titanium is an ideal sizing operation that allows you to bring a part into size with precision and without altering shape or proportions. Because the process removes a uniform amount of surface metal from the entire part, it is practical even for small and complex parts. This process can remove as little as .0001″, giving you a high level of control and ensuring that your parts are sized according to your needs.
Compared to Passivation
Titanium passivation does not offer the same benefits as electropolishing. While it eliminates free iron and other contaminants from the metal’s surface, it does not effectively remove embedded contaminants from the pores of the metal and does not improve the part’s appearance.
Ultimately, electropolishing titanium provides unique benefits that make parts made of this alloy safer, longer-lasting and more suitable for use in medical, aerospace and other high-profile applications.