How Electropolishing Can Improve Metal Parts
When people discuss electropolishing, the first thing that comes to mind is a part with a bright finish. Though the bright finish is the most identifiable trait, there are some important, often overlooked benefits of this material removal process. These benefits include deburring, microfinish improvement, ultracleaning, improved corrosion resistance, fatigue life improvement and sizing. These metal improvement benefits offer great promise to design and production engineers for cost savings and product improvement.
Electropolishing is an effective process for deburring metal parts. Because electropolishing removes surface metal from a part, it eliminates burrs on the surface, as well. This process is frequently used for deburring delicate or intricate parts that are not necessarily well-suited for vibratory finishing or conventional tumbling, and it is effective on a variety of metals regardless of their hardness.
Improved Corrosion Resistance
By eliminating surface imperfections and contaminants imbedded in a metal part’s surface, electropolishing significantly improves long-term corrosion resistance. In salt spray testing conducted by an independent facility outside of Able Electropolishing, electropolished metal parts benefited from higher corrosion resistance than raw and passivated parts. Removing surface imperfections eliminates areas where moisture and contaminants can collect and lead to corrosion.
Electropolishing removes surface metal and imbedded scale, rust, grinding compounds, foreign debris, and oils, creating a bright, uniform finish that does not peel or abrade. This finish increases corrosion resistance and improves weldability without affecting surface hardness or introducing stresses to parts.
Electropolishing improves microfinish values even on complex or fragile parts that are not well-suited for methods like grinding, lapping or harperizing. It reduces the microscopic peaks caused by metalworking operations like stamping, welding, and forming, reducing microfinish values and improving part performance.