Electropolishing: Ultracleaning & Decorative Finishing

Industries such as semiconductor, photonics, medical, automotive, and pharmaceutical have special applications that require their machined or fabricated metal parts be electropolished and cleaned to very high standards. Typically, the specifications on this class of parts call for Ra values of 15 or less and have limitations on acceptable particulate after electropolishing.

To ensure that the cleanliness is maintained until final assembly, special packaging may include packaging in a clean bench in nitrogen purged sealed bags.

Electropolishing Fittings for the Semiconductor Industry

One of our customers manufactures fittings for the semiconductor industry. The various 316L stainless steel parts are mechanically polished to an Ra less than 10 prior to being sent for electropolishing. To maintain the buffed finish and remove the contaminants, the parts have to be electropolished with a controlled amount of material removal. By processing samples prior to receiving production parts, we were able to establish the proper material removal and processing parameters to meet the customer’s needs. These parameters are added to our permanent engineering record, which is issued to the shop with each order.

Upon completion of the electropolishing, the parts receive multiple rinses with the final rinse being deionized water. After centrifugal drying, the fittings are moved to our class 100 clean bench for packaging. We then proceed to package individually in double bags that have been purged with nitrogen and sealed.

Electropolishing Aluminum in a Clean Room Environment

We have another customer that sends us 6061 aluminum machined components for electropolishing that are used in laser cutting equipment. Since the laser equipment is assembled in a clean room, the OEM requires that the parts be clean and have a smooth finish free of burrs, scratches and pits. The specification for electropolishing calls out .0006” to .0008” material removal (.0003” to .0004” per surface).

After electropolishing and drying, the parts are wrapped in a special tissue paper and placed in a sealed plastic bag. When electropolishing aluminum, the material removal can vary from .0005” to .002” depending on the condition of the parts and what the customer is trying to achieve. The general rule is when removing .001” material, we will improve the Ra value by as much as 50%.

Metal Alloys We Electropolish

Able Electropolishing is capable of electropolishing nearly any metal alloy. Along with the 300 series SS and aluminum mentioned above, we electropolish 400 series SS, precipitating hardness grades, copper alloys, nickel alloys, carbon steels, titanium, Nitinol and others.

Free Electropolishing Sample

To see how we can improve the microfinish of your parts, send us your parts or prototypes and we’ll electropolish them for free – we’ll even pay for the shipping. Samples are processed in 24-48 hours.

Contact us to learn more about ultra-high purity electropolishing

Medical Device Manufacturing

Our tightly controlled quality process and ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certifications make us the preferred partner for many medical device manufacturers across the globe. From implantable devices to surgical instruments, electropolishing is a single-process treatment that results in biocompatible, safe and ultra clean parts.

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Aerospace

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. Surface abnormalities lead to part failure, but with electropolishing, parts become more reliable and long lasting.

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Pharmaceutical

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.

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Automotive

Corrosion resistance and microfinish improvement are essential for critical automotive parts, making electropolishing an increasingly beneficial option for automakers. Electropolishing both interior and exterior auto parts ensures they will resist premature failure and function at an optimal level.

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Consumer Appliance

Notable examples of appliance parts we electropolish are 400-series stainless steel alloys used in many consumer appliances. Our metal finishing services help increase corrosion resistance for these parts, and by removing the outermost layer of metal withelectropolishing the durability and longevityof these appliance components is increased.

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Food & Beverage

We have a long history of working with the food and beverage industry. Electropolishing materials for this industry eliminates the buildup of bacterial biofilms, as well as keeping the equipment free of contaminants like Salmonella. When it comes to food and beverage processing equipment, safety and cleanliness are of the upmost importance and electropolishing delivers the level of sanitation required by a number of regulatory agencies.

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Hydraulics & Pneumatics

From robotics to heavy mobile equipment, the uses of electropolishing in the hydraulics and pneumatics industry are many. By helping prevent premature part failure, electropolishing reduces the amount of downtime and increases the life cycle of these components. Proper surface finish and cleanliness is key in this industry, and electropolishing attains the finishour customers require.

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Electronics

Improving conductivity and performance is just one benefit electropolishing offers for electronics parts. The surface finish is improved by as much as 50 percent, removing imperfections from the material without removing a lot of material removal from the component.

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