Electropolishing Applications Guide
See Photos of ElectropolishingElectropolishing User's Guide
Today, electropolishing is successfully applied to an expanded range
of new applications:
- Sheet Metal
- Wire Goods
Major benefits of electropolishing continue to be demonstrated
in reactor vessels, heat exchangers, blenders, storage tanks, piping
clean rooms, food and beverage processing equipment, medical equipment,
machined parts and nuclear applications. See the sections below to find
the advantages electropolishing offers for your application.
Electropolishing Reactor Vessels,
Heat Exchangers, Mixers, Agitators, Blenders & Storage Tanks
operating times and reduces wear and tear on parts.
- Reduces adhesion and
contamination on the surfaces of process equipment. (Electropolished
surfaces perform as well as glass surfaces in many applications.)
easy cleaning and reduces associated downtime.
- Significantly reduces a
metal's tendency to corrode.
- Reduces friction between moving metal parts.
- Improves heat transfer efficiency
in heat exchangers.
- Enhances flow characteristics of piping and tubing.
- Eliminates burrs
from machined parts.
- Reduces surface stresses in formed metal parts.
- Lengthens metal life
against sour gas.
Experience tells us that any container used in mixing,
blending or storage processes for liquids or powders is an excellent
candidate for electropolishing.
The non-stick qualities of an electropolished surface have obvious advantages
in these applications. Companies who have used electropolished parts
successfully in the above applications include ExxonMobil, Shell, Dow
Chemical, BASF, Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., Dupont, Albemarle,
Solutia and many others.
Piping & Tubing
In recent years, electropolishing has been shown
to provide the ultimate I.D. and O.D. finish for piping and tubing. Electropolishing
whenever non-contaminating, non-particulating and anti-fouling surfaces
are required. In addition, pipe and tubing also benefit from the minimal
friction and maximum purity aspects of electropolishing. Major beneficiaries
of electropolished piping and tubing include the petrochemical, nuclear,
pharmaceutical, semi-conductor and food and beverage industries.
Clean rooms demand non-contaminating and non-particulating surfaces.
Electropolishing is the ultimate finish for clean room tables, chairs,
waste containers, light fixtures, exposed electrical conduit and outlet
boxes, manufacturing and processing equipment, and other metallic components
used in this application.
Food & Beverage Processing
Electropolishing provides the smooth,
easy cleaning and cosmetically pleasing surfaces demanded by this industry
coupled with unmatched non-contamination
and sanitary qualities. The process reduces oxidation and contamination
of stainless steel components used in kitchen, dairy and automatic food
processing equipment, and descales food and beverage containers. Overall,
one can expect a significantly cleaner surface that resists the contaminating
build-up of undesirable bacteria and product particles.
For many years, the medical field has been a beneficiary
of electropolishing. All hospital, medical and surgical equipment (scalpels,
bone and joint implants, prosthetic devices, burn beds and rehabilitation
whirlpools) should be electropolished to facilitate cleaning and achieve
high levels of non-contamination. All metal articles exposed to radiation
and requiring regular decontamination are prime candidates for electropolishing.
All screws, bolts, washers, valve stems and bodies, and other machined
parts benefit from electropolishing. The process provides a number of
advantages, including deburring and stress relieving of the surface,
easy clean up, a non-stick, non-contaminating, non-particulating finish,
and a pleasing cosmetic appearance. It has been demonstrated that machined
parts of electropolished 304 stainless steel exhibit superior corrosion
resistance when compared to the same parts fashioned from non-electropolished
316 stainless steel. Precise machining using electropolishing techniques
is an advantage in many applications.
Electropolishing is a critical finish in the nuclear industry.
Used to polish surfaces located in radioactive environments, electropolishing
reduces contamination pick-up and increases the effectiveness of conventional
decontamination techniques. The process can be used to decontaminate
radioactive metallic surfaces to non-detectable levels. Any contamination
located on or embedded in the surface can be removed by the electropolishing
process. In addition, residual contaminated electrolyte can be removed
in the rinsing operation. A very effective application for electropolishing
is the polishing of nuclear plant recirculation piping for stress-relief
of internal surfaces that have already been mechanically polished.
- Dry Product Delivery Systems
- Filters, Screens and Strainers
- Product Trays and Dryers
- Pumps and Valves
- Compressors and Condensers
- Cooling and Plate Coils
- Turbine Blades, Wheels and Impellers
- Vacuum Chambers and Equipment —
Significantly reduces outgassing on
surfaces in a vacuum environment.
- Paper Mill Equipment — Paper slurry
pipe systems and head boxes are two of many applications.
- Electronic and Communications Parts
- Offshore Oil field Applications — Instrumentation, down-hole safety
equipment and other similar systems.
- Fouling Reduction of Screens and Springs
- Reduction of Oxidation and Corrosion — Crucial for preserving mechanical
seals and parts located in chlorine environments.
- Electromachining — Occasionally,
parts are made to improper tolerances or to tolerances needing a slight
Electropolishing can be
a valuable tool to alter
by precisely controlling the removal of a small amount of metal.
- Passivation — Electropolishing serves
as an excellent passivation process. The process removes contamination
on or just beneath the
surface and passivates
steel to a much greater extent than any other treatment.
helps preserve carbon steel parts scheduled for extended storage. Electropolished
carbon steel has been stored at 60-70 percent relative
humidity for more than six months without visible rust. Electropolished brass
tarnishes only slightly, if at all, under similar circumstances — a sharp
contrast to buffed brass which turns dark.
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