Are your parts suffering from these common surface problems?

  1. Burrs or surface imperfections
  2. Less-than-ideal microfinish
  3. Inadequate surface cleanliness
  4. Corrosion
  5. Premature part failure
  6. Sizing
  7. Product identification

Send us your prototype or problem part and we’ll electropolish it for free – even shipping included. Click on this link to request your free sample.

Whether you are an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), a part manufacturer or a metal working shop looking to solve these common surface problems, it's critical to find a solution to adequately address these surface problems in a cost-effective method.

Electropolishing is often referred to as a “reverse plating” process. Electrochemical in nature, electropolishing uses a combination of rectified current and a blended chemical electrolyte bath to remove flaws from the surface of a metal part. Since the development of electropolishing in the 1950s, substantial refinements have taken place. Able has numerous electrolytes to allow for electropolishing on a broad range of metals. These newer electrolytes, combined with advanced part handling techniques, have improved production yields on a wide range of metal products.

Alloys we electropolish

Able specializes in providing electropolishing services for a variety of common and specialty metal alloys. Here is a partial list of alloys we can electropolish:

  • 200-300 Series stainless steels
  • 400 Series stainless steels
  • Precipitating hardening grades
  • Unusual stainless steels
  • Copper alloys
  • Tool steels
  • Aluminum
  • Titanium
  • Nitinol
  • Specialty alloys
  • Nickel alloys
  • Specialty steels
  • Carbon steels

What it does

While electropolishing is best known for the bright polish left on a surface, there are some important — often overlooked — benefits of this metal finishing method. These benefits include deburring, size control, microfinish improvement, ultraclean finishing and corrosion resistance. These metal improvement benefits are highly desirable to design and production engineers for cost savings and product lifespan improvement.

How it works

The typical electropolishing installation is deceptively similar to a plating line. A power source converts AC current to DC at low voltages. A rubber-lined tank, usually fabricated from steel, is used to hold the chemical bath. A series of copper or stainless steel cathode plates are lowered into the bath and installed to the negative (-) side of the power source. A part or group of parts is fixed to a rack made of titanium, copper or bronze. That rack, in turn, is fixed to the positive (+) side of the power source. As the video depicts, the metal part is charged positive (anodic) and immersed into the chemical bath. When current is applied, the electrolyte acts as a conductor to allow metal ions to be removed from the part. While the ions are drawn toward the cathode, the electrolyte maintains the dissolved metals in solution. Gassing in the form of oxygen occurs at the metal surface, furthering the cleansing process. Once the process is completed, the part is run through a series of rinsing and drying steps to remove clinging electrolyte. The resulting surface is ultraclean and bright. In fact, the bright surface is the most identifiable trait and is what helped coin the process name: electropolishing. While the process is best known for the bright polish left on a surface, other benefits include deburring, size control and microfinish improvement. These metal improvement benefits offer great promise to design and production engineers for cost savings and product improvement. Following treatment, metal parts have improved microfinish value, an ultraclean surface, and enhanced corrosion resistance.