Electropolishing: Improve Fatigue Life of Metal Parts
Electropolishing has become a common metal finishing process used to help improve the life of metal parts that flex, cycle, twist and bend. These components come in many forms, including stampings, wire forms, laser-cut tubes and even machined parts. During the manufacturing process, micro defects on the surface of these components are left behind. These defects, often in the form of microcracks or pits, can become initiation sites for crack propagation or corrosion.
Electropolishing to Eliminate Imperfections
By removing these imperfections on the surface of metal parts, engineers have found electropolishing to greatly improve the life of components that function as springs.
The figure to the left shows how a small crack or notch can create a condition that will result in failure as stresses are placed along the surface of a part. This “notch effect” can be mitigated by removing a small amount of material from the surface of the metal part, restoring its surface to a smooth, defect-free surface. Able Electropolishing processes millions of springs each year made from music wire, stainless steel 300 series, 400 series, and Nitinol, in order to improve their performance.
Meeting Stress Requirements in Critical Parts
Able Electropolishing frequently processes stamped parts that must flex and torque as part of regular use. Electropolishing these parts helps them meet their life cycle expectations.
One customer experienced a problem with a part stamped out of heavy gauge material, which was not meeting its stress requirements. The stamping process left the part with small cracks and fissures, which compromised the part with repeated use.
By electropolishing the part, Able removed enough surface material to eliminate the fissures, enabling the part to pass its rigorous testing and function longer.
Electropolishing Stainless Steel Springs and More
Stainless steel springs and wire forms are prone to the same development of cracks and fissures that lead to premature part failure. When electropolishing stainless steel parts like these, Able removes a uniform layer of surface material from the entire part, stripping away the surface imperfections and cracks that threaten the part’s performance. After electropolishing, springs and wire forms meet or exceed their anticipated cycle levels.
We offer aerospace vendors and original equipment manufacturers our signature metal finishing services to increase fatigue-resistance for their metal parts, rendering them capable of withstanding the stress and corrosion that comes with long-term use.
Our strict adherence to industry standards ensures that pharmaceutical components are electropolished in accordance with ASTM B912 and ASME BPE specifications. These products are clean and smooth, corrosion resistant and contaminant free.
Our metal finishing services help increase corrosion resistance for these parts, and by removing the outermost layer of metal withelectropolishing the durability and longevity of these appliance components is increased.
Electropolishing materials for this industry eliminates the buildup of bacterial biofilms, as well as keeping the equipment free of contaminants like Salmonella. Electropolishing delivers the level of sanitation required by a number of regulatory agencies.
From robotics to mobile equipment, the uses of electropolishing in the hydraulics and pneumatics industry are many. By helping prevent premature part failure, electropolishing reduces downtime and increases the life cycle of these components.
Improving conductivity and performance is just one benefit electropolishing offers for electronics parts. The surface finish is improved by as much as 50%, removing imperfections from the material without material removal.
Electropolishing for Finishing Rescue Device Parts
When a marine and rescue hardware manufacturer started developing parts for rescue harnesses in 2018, they knew they needed to find a metal finishing partner with uncompromising standards and no tolerance for error: lives, literally, hang on the line.