Electropolishing & Deburring Case Studies

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17-7 Ph stainless steel extension spring needing life cycle improvement

Alloy: Stainless

Industry: Industrial

Challenge:

  • Extension spring was failing and causing a constant maintenance problem

Solution:

  • Part was electropolished and the results of the cycle life test increased well beyond current cycle levels and eliminated costly maintenance
  • Customer added electropolishing to the extension spring specification

17-7 Ph stainless steel wire form not meeting fatigue life cycle under high and low psi

Alloy: Stainless

Industry: Automotive

Challenge:

  • Part was not meeting the intended fatigue life cycle under high and low psi

Solution:

  • Customer chose to electropolish the wire form parts to hold high and low psi in all areas of compression in the engine without stressing
  • The wire forms tested were successfully fatigue tested over 900,000 cycles

420 Stainless Steel Packaging Part with Burrs

Alloy: Stainless

Industry: Industrial

Total Material Removed: .0005”
(or half that amount per surface)

Challenge:

  • Part had several burrs on edges
  • Problem persisted after trying other methods of deburring

Solution:

  • Part was electropolished with a minimum metal removal
  • Burrs on part were removed

Automotive fasteners needing removal of copper coating

Alloy: Stainless

Industry: Automotive

Challenge:

  • Customer needed a bright decorative finish that would stand up to harsh environment
  • Customer also needed to remove the copper coating

Solution:

  • Able’s electropolishing proprietary technique stripped the copper coating, brightened the finish to near-chrome quality and gave the part an anti-corrosive finish
Nickel Alloy Electropolishing

Beryllium/Nickel Alloy with Surface Contamination from EDM

Alloy: Nickel

Industry: Electrical

Total Material Removed: .001”
(or half that amount per surface)

Challenge:

  • Delicate ribs showed obvious contamination, burrs, and recast materials
  • Mechanical cleaning had risk of warping or distortion

Solution:

  • All critical surfaces were completely cleaned of surface and sub-surface contamination with electropolishing
  • Removal of stress cracks improved product life

Complex Assembly of Multiple Alloys Needing Improved Sealing Surface

Alloy: Stainless

Industry: Aerospace

Challenge:

  • The ‘Hermetic Assembly’ part had green oxide layer from glass fusing, which needed to be removed

Solution:

  • Electropolishing provided an oxide free, Brite Ultraclean surface
  • Discoloration was removed & part passed stringent leakage testing

Copper Automotive Stamping with Burrs Cutting into Plastic Mating Surface

Alloy: Brass/Copper

Industry: Electronics/Communication

Challenge:

  • Edges of fingers were causing problems in assembly of the finished product
  • Could not vibra-finish the part due to the fragile nature of the fingers

Solution:

  • Electropolishing removed the burrs and made the part’s surface smoother
  • Achieved without incurring any damage to the fragile fingers

Copper drawn part used in Aerospace oxygen application needed contaminant-free surfaces

Alloy: Brass/Copper

Industry: Aerospace

Challenge:

  • Engineers feared that contaminates could compromise the integrity of chemicals stored inside the container

Solution:

  • Electropolishing removed the outer layer of metal & any contaminants from handling
  • The process increased corrosion resistance & gave the part an extended life

Fastener needing removal of heat treat discoloration

Alloy: Stainless

Industry: Other

Challenge:

  • 'Stop Nuts' parts were highly discolored and heavily oxidized from heat treatment

Solution:

  • We electropolished a small sample lot to clean and brighten the heavily discolored parts
  • Customer avoided losing several thousand dollars of material

Food Service Wireform

Alloy: Stainless

Industry: Food/Beverage

Challenge:

  • Weld discoloration
  • Surfaces needed to be easily cleaned with minimal food adhesion

Solution:

  • Electropolishing removed the weld discoloration and sub-surface contamination
  • Improved corrosion resistance, achieving a smoother surface that is easier to clean

Gear Teeth Requiring Resizing

Alloy: Steel

Industry: Automotive

Total Material Removed: .0005"
(or half that amount per surface)

Challenge:

  • Heat treating caused the internal gear teeth to grow

Solution:

  • Electropolishing the steel removed varying amounts of surface material until achieving the ideal size
  • Internal gear teeth were resized uniformly, ensuring that the part fit its mate

Machined Brass Part with Burrs Around Outlet Hole

Alloy: Brass/Copper

Industry: Food/Beverage

Challenge:

  • After machining, a burr was produced around the edge of the outlet hole
  • Problem persisted after trying other methods of deburring

Solution:

  • Part was electropolished with a minimum stock removal to clean up the orifice
  • Part now has a controlled, constant stream

Machined Casting Used in a Beverage Filling Application

Alloy: Aluminum

Industry: Food/Beverage

Challenge:

  • Part was leaking from seating problems when assembled with other components
  • Customer machined problem areas but problem persisted

Solution:

  • Electropolishing smoothed out the surface allowing a better fit, eliminating leaks & enhancing the part's “cleanability”

Pharmaceutical machined part needing a surface that would not harbor bacteria

Alloy: Stainless

Industry: Pharmaceutical

Challenge:

  • Customer needed to ensure that all surfaces were clean and smooth, free of contaminants and crevices where bacteria could gain a foothold

Solution:

  • The electropolished surface reduced surface irregularities by 50%, while removing contaminants embedded in the surface
  • Part is now 30 times more corrosion resistant than ordinary passivation

Stainless Steel & Brass Assembly with Braze & Flux Contamination

Alloy: Stainless

Industry: Electronics/Communication

Challenge:

  • Part was comprised of dissimilar metals that are silver brazed
  • Tumbling alone could not remove the excess silver braze from the part

Solution:

  • Electropolishing removed the excess silver braze, while smoothing and cleaning the surfaces of all three dissimilar metals

Stainless Steel Medical Devices

Alloy: Stainless

Industry: Medical/Dental

Challenge:

  • The teeth of this stainless steel blade had large, hanging burrs
  • Hand deburring was neither an economical nor a consistent solution

Solution:

  • Electropolishing removed the burrs while retaining the sharp blade
  • Ultraclean, exceptionally corrosion resistant surface across the entire part

Stainless Steel Medical Part with Small Holes

Alloy: Stainless

Industry: Medical/Dental

Total Material Removed: .0005"
(or half that amount per surface)

Challenge:

  • This medical part needed to be free of contaminants and burrs to improve release characteristics
  • Because the part has many small holes, hand deburring operations would be time-consuming and imperfect

Solution:

  • Electropolishing the parts removed a uniform amount of surface metal and eliminated potential initiation sites for corrosion and burrs

Stamping Stainless Steel Hook Latch

Alloy: Stainless

Industry: Other

Challenge:

  • Part is heat-treated and discoloration is produced on the surface
  • The heat treat discoloration is an oxide and accelerates corrosion

Solution:

  • Electropolishing removed a controlled amount of material
  • Part left free of oxides, scale and discoloration

Steel spring with surfaces too rough and contaminated to accept plating

Alloy: Steel

Industry: Other

Challenge:

  • Part was experiencing adhesion problems and flaking of plated material

Solution:

  • Electropolishing removed the layer with embedded contaminants from normal fabrication and lubrication
  • Surface of the wire was smoothed and cycle life of the part was improved

Titanium Part with Heat Tint

Alloy: Titanium

Industry: Medical/Dental

Total Material Removed: .0003"
(or half that amount per surface)

Challenge:

  • From heat treatment, this titanium part had a film of gray, dusty scale
  • Intricate machined features and small holes proved difficult to clean by other metal polishing techniques

Solution:

  • Electropolishing removed a uniform amount of surface metal from the titanium part, achieving a bright and uniform finish free of tint and scale while maintaining tolerance

Titanium Parts for the Medical Industry

Alloy: Titanium

Industry: Medical/Dental

Total Material Removed: .0005"
(or half that amount per surface)

Challenge:

  • Black, amorphous layer created by thread rolling on titanium parts
  • Premature corrosion due to embedded contamination from tooling

Solution:

  • Electropolishing provided a consistent finish acceptable for a part used in a medical or surgical setting and reduced the coefficient of friction, creating a better finish on the thread

Valve Springs Needing Extended Life to Last Through Race

Alloy: Steel

Industry: Automotive

Challenge:

  • Valve Springs needed an extended life to last through high-speed racing

Solution:

  • Customer chose to electropolish the parts, resulting in an extended life without stressing
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