Electropolishing

What Types of Parts are Good Candidates for Electropolishing?

Electropolishing work involves the use of electricity to deburr and polish metal surfaces.  The process works in the opposite fashion from electroplating where material is added upon the metal.  Electropolishing instead removes unwanted material.  It eliminates the need to use abrasives and leaves an exceptionally smooth surface.  Parts made of stainless steel are particularly well suited for this manufacturing technique.  It is often used for components where there is a priority given to making sure the material is contaminant free.  Medical instruments would fall into this category as would high quality cleaning devices including specialized washing machines.  Devices used to obtain absolute vacuums will also go through this sort of treatment in order to keep any gasses leaking in through slight surface cracks.  The smoothness that results from this application will thwart this possibly damaging result.

Designing Parts for Electropolishing

Parts for Electropolishing need to be fabricated from material capable of withstanding the rigors of highly acidic solution.  Compounds containing sulfuric or phosphoric acid are often used in the bath through which the current flows.  So long as the matter involved can withstand such treatment, the depth of the material does not matter.  In other words, the components can be very thin and small.  This has led to frequent use in electronic equipment and other devices where miniaturization is a goal.  If a surface contains unwanted protrusions, this technique can be used to eliminate them provided they can be dissolved at a higher rate than the rest of the part whose retention is desired.

Sourcing Electropolishing

Electropolishing companies and Electropolishing services have mushroomed with the advance of computers and related mobile devices.  The small size needed for their components have led to the need to expand the manufacturing base in this area.  Standards have been secured through several Engineering Associations that monitor manufacturing processes.  The microscopic qualities required for medical and biological research along with their need for complete absence of contaminants make this procedure likely to find continued increase in application.  Much information is available on this valuable process.