ASTM F86 Electropolishing Standard for Surgical Implants

The standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) ensure the high quality of various metal finishing services. At Able Electropolishing, we meet the ASTM F86 standard for the surface preparation and marking of metallic surgical implants. This includes the electropolishing of titanium, Nitinol and other metals used for surgical implants, eliminating surface contaminants and increasing corrosion resistance.

What Is ASTM F86 Electropolishing?

The ASTM F86 standard applies to metal finishing services like ours that treat surgical implants. Metal surgical implants must be highly corrosion resistant before use, as well as free of surface contaminants and imperfections left behind by various machining processes.

Our process for electropolishing titanium and other alloys enables us to treat a wide variety of surgical implants while meeting the high standards of the ASTM. Removing surface contaminants like free iron as well as surface imperfections makes surgical implants biocompatible and safe.

Meeting ASTM F86

Surface imperfections and embedded contaminants are initiation sites for corrosion, which compromises the quality of parts intended for use as surgical implants. Our electropolishing process removes those surface contaminants and levels out surface imperfections with a uniform microfinish, allowing us to significantly improve a part’s corrosion resistance. Only metal finishing services like ours are eligible for meeting the standards of the ASTM, which are particularly critical for surgical implants.

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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Contact us to learn more about electropolishing