Passivation Service

Passivation is a chemical cleaning process that is designed to remove free iron and other ferrous contaminants from the surface of stainless steel parts. By removing the contamination from machining, stamping, etc., you are helping restore the material to the original mill condition and corrosion specifications.

Passivation is ideal for many grades of stainless steel that have adequate levels of chromium and nickel, and it can help increase the longevity of many types of metal parts.

Brite Passivated Metal Parts

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Why Choose the Able Electropolishing Company?

  • We’ve been in business since 1954 and is a trusted source in the metal finishing industry
  • Our customers cover a wide array of industries including: aerospace, medical, dental, pharmaceutical and food processing, to name a few
  • Our state of the art 40,000 square foot facility gives us the ability to process one part to thousands of parts in a timely manner
  • We offer both nitric acid and citric acid bath options
  • We have the capacity to passivate both small and large parts – our largest tank measures 48″ x 59″ x 107″
  • We offer expedited service at our centrally located facility that operates 24 hours a day, five days a week with three equally staffed shifts
  • We passivate in accordance with ASTM A967, AMS 2700, ASTM A380 and ASTM F86, as well as, many other industry and customer-specific standards

Able Employee Inspecting Passivated Part   Able Employee Packaging Finished Passivated Part

Is Passivation the Right Process?

  • Several popular grades of stainless steel should not be passivated due to low levels of chromium and nickel; when passivated, you run the risk of flask attack occurring which weakens the base material and does irreparable damage to the part
  • Welded or brazed parts are not recommended for passivation; the process is not capable of removing the scale and discoloration in the “heat affected zone”
  • As an alternative to passivation, your part may be better suited for our proprietary Brite Passivation process, which involves a light electropolish and is a superior process to passivation for improving corrosion resistance
  • Please contact our sales department at with questions on which process is best for your application

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How the Passivation Process Works

Passivation is a chemical process designed to increase the corrosion resistance of stainless steel parts.

During the passivation process, parts are placed in a basket and submerged in a nitric or citric acid bath. Depending on the stainless steel alloy, the acid concentration, temperature and time are set to effectively remove free iron and other foreign materials on the part’s surface introduced during machining, stamping, and other processes. The passivation leaves the part clean and more corrosion resistant but does not change the aesthetics of the part.

Your Metal Finishing Partner

If improved corrosion resistance is the ultimate goal, passivation is an efficient process that parts can undergo, but passivation alone is not always effective at removing surface contaminants, and frequently requires an additional pre-cleaning step. However, electropolishing can remove all traces of surface and embedded contaminants in one operation.

Passivation is also only ideal for certain grades of stainless steel to remove free iron and other contaminants, but it isn’t recommended for some stainless steel grades that have insufficient levels of nickel and chromium. Welded or brazed parts are also incapable of undergoing the passivation process.

You can speak with an expert at Able Electropolishing to determine if your parts are ideal for passivation or other processes such as electropolishing. You may also find that your parts require more thorough microfinishing than passivation can provide.

A Commitment to the Environment

Over the years, Able has been through the evolution of environmental compliance, waste minimization, recycling and water conservation. This outstanding job has earned Able a Certificate of Commendation from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

Waste Treatment Tank Inspection

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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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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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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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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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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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