ASTM A380 Passivation Standard for Stainless Steel

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) develops and maintains high standards for metal passivation services. Able Electropolishing meets, among others, the ASTM A380 passivation standard published by this organization. This set of standards specifies the industry’s best practices for cleaning, descaling and passivating stainless steel—services that Able has provided for manufacturers worldwide for years.

What is ASTM A380 Passivation?

The ASTM A380 passivation standard covers various operations in cleaning, descaling and passivating. Stainless steel parts that undergo these processes may require a variety of treatments, including precleaning, chemical descaling, degreasing and more, all of which can be accomplished different ways.

ASTM A380 allows for different types of operations, so long as they are performed to industry standards and create the required finish. This standard specifies different methods for testing the quality of the finish, including wipe tests, high-humidity tests, free iron tests, atomizer tests and more.

Electropolishing vs. Passivation

Electropolishing Before & After
While passivation is useful for removing free iron and contaminants from stainless steel and is more well known, electropolishing is often a better option and can be used on far more metal alloys.

Electropolishing removes a microscopically precise layer of surface material, to tolerances as low as +/-.0001″, depending on the alloy. This degree of precision and consistency, along with the ability to remove a variety of surface imperfections in one process, is why electropolishing is so often specified for critical parts used in medical implants and surgical instruments, aerospace components and fragile or critical parts used in other industries. Electropolishing is a one-stop process for a micro-smooth, ultraclean, corrosion and pathogen-resistant surface finish – with 30 times more corrosion resistance than passivation.

Electropolishing also eliminates the need for additional metal finishing processes like hand deburring, tumbling, pickling, and cleaning.

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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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