Passivation, Pickling, Electropolishing & Cleaning
Cleaning methods for stainless steel
Stainless steel is easy to clean. Washing with soap or mild detergent and warm water followed by a clear water rinse is usually quite adequate for domestic and architectural equipment. Where stainless steel has become extremely dirty with signs of surface discolouration (perhaps following periods of neglect, or misuse) alternative methods of cleaning can be used, as outlined below.
Care and maintenance of stainless steel
Stainless steels are selected for applications where their inherent corrosion resistance, strength and aesthetic appeal are required. However, dependent on the service conditions, stainless steels will stain and discolour due to surface deposits and so cannot be assumed to be completely maintenance-free.
Surface Finishes, Treatments & Cleaning
From Technical Library
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Cleaning & Maintenance (19)
Electropolishing & Electroplating (7)
Mechanical Polishing (2)
Post Weld Cleaning and Finishing (9)
The Then and Now of Electropolishing
Electropolishing has been an established method for enhancing the surface finish of stainless steel for several decades. As with any process, there have been significant developments. John Swain of Anopol is well qualified to describe these. You can read the full text of his article published in Surface World by downloading the following pages:
When is stainless steel passive or active - formation of the passive layer
The inherent corrosion resistance of stainless steels is derived from alloying the base iron with chromium. BS EN 10088-1 states that a steel must have a minimum of 10.5% (by weight) chromium and a maximum of 1.2% carbon to be classified as 'stainless'.
Electropolishing of stainless steels
Most stainless steel types and forms, ie wrought or cast, can be successfully electropolished. Electropolishing of sulphurised free-machining grades, however, does not give a high standard of surface finish.
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