Electropolishing: Improve the Microfinish of Metal Parts
Titanium Microfinishing with Electropolishing (600x magnification)
In assemblies where contact to metal surfaces is critical, improvement of that metal surface becomes important. Virtually all metalworking operations including cutting, stamping, welding, and forming roughen a metal surface. When that metal surface is then forced to work in critical sealing or friction zones, product performance often suffers.
Measuring Irregularities Before Electropolishing
One of the traditional instruments used to measure surface roughness is the profilometer. The profilometer, using a diamond stylus to record the irregularities of the surface, usually gives a readout in microinches or micrometers. This quantifies the roughness of the surface, with a larger number indicating a rougher surface. Electropolishing typically reduces these microinch values by 50%, i.e. a 16-microinch surface before electropolishing will be improved to an 8-microinch surface afterward.
How Able Electropolishing Improves Microfinish
The top illustration on the right depicts a typical cross-sectioned metal surface. The electropolishing process allows for a concentration of current in the peaks of a surface, thereby reducing microscopic peaks and causing a leveling action. By reducing the surface peaks, the microfinish values are reduced as well as shown in the bottom image.
In general terms, when properly applied, electropolishing can reduce microfinish values by 50% with a removal of .0005″ from each surface. Chart B clearly shows that maximum benefit is achieved in this area, and that removing much more metal does not continue to improve surface finish.
It is important to note that electropolishing is best suited for improving microfinish values on complex or fragile parts. Many other microfinish improvement methods such as grinding, lapping or harperizing are not suitable on multi-faceted parts or fragile stampings.
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.
From exposure to salt and acids and near constant moisture, industrial food processing blades must stand up to a wide variety of potentially corrosive ingredients without losing their edge. Such blades must also meet strict requirements regarding quality and cleanliness…
Grow Your Reach, Shrink Lead Time with Trusted Supplier Network
The process of finishing critical metal parts for our clients in industries that include aerospace, medical device design, semiconductor manufacturing, pharmaceutical production – and many others – is incredibly precise. Success can be measured in ten-thousandths of an inch.