Odds are you may not know much about electropolishing. And that’s okay, most people don’t know a lot about in. In fact, most people have never even heard of it. But the truth is, electropolishing touches many different aspects of our lives. As a consumer, many of the products that you use in your everyday life have been affected by the process of electropolishing. It makes many of these day to day products better products to use.
So what is this thing that makes such a difference in so many of the products we use? Let me break it down and explain it to you.
What is Electropolishing?
It is a process that is used on many different metals to polish them, shape them, remove corrosion, etc. It is also sometimes referred to as “electrochemical polishing” or “electrolytic polishing.” In any case, they are all referencing the same thing: a process that creates an electrochemical reaction for the purpose of removing impurities from a piece of metal.
How Does Electropolishing Work?
It creates an electrochemical reaction. This is done by submerging the metal piece to be polished into an electropolishing bath. This bath is made up of some sort of electrolyte fluid that generally includes different acids such as sulfuric acid and phosphoric acid. Once the metal piece is submerged into the electrolyte electropolishing bath, an electrical current is introduced into the bath.
This electrical current causes an electrochemical reaction to take place in the fluid that the metal piece is submerged in. The electrochemical reaction causes an oxidation to take place on the piece of metal that is being polished. As the metal is oxidized, any spots of impurity that are taking place on the metal are essentially dissolved away, leaving a polished and flawless piece of metal behind.
• Uses for Electropolishing
As I explained above, there are many uses for electropolishing. Many different industries very commonly use the process of electropolishing in the manufacturing of their products. Some of the finished products that use the process of electropolishing in their production include washing machines, stainless steel dental and surgical devices, vacuums, car parts, and more.
• Benefits of Electropolishing
Many industries prefer the process of electropolishing in the manufacturing of their products over other traditional finishing methods like grinding, milling, blasting, and buffing. That is mainly because it provides a much more perfect, flawless surface finish. On top of that there are several other benefits to the usage of it:
- Smoothing. This is the most common reason for the usage of electropolishing. It leaves a completely flawless finish on the surface of the piece of metal.
- Polishing. It leaves the pieces of metal with a bright, passive, appealing finish.
- Corrosion resistance. It provides heightened resistance to corrosion.
- Fit & function. Because it leaves the treated piece with a completely flawless finish, the end pieces are better able to fit in where they are meant to fit, and to function more properly (as opposed to a piece that may have some impurities or imperfections).
- Extended life. Because of the improved fit and function of the pieces that are treated using electropolishing, many of the end products receive the benefit of extended life and slower deterioration.