The future of the automotive industry is electric, and the electric vehicle (EV) sector's success depends on the reliability, safety and performance of its batteries.

That’s a landscape in which electropolishing can play an important role in ensuring that aluminum and copper parts used in EV battery manufacturing can be produced with the highest quality surface finish.

Electropolishing offers EV battery manufacturers a precise, controllable and efficient method to eliminate surface imperfections and enhance the conductivity of aluminum and copper parts. This technique is valuable for both pre-plating surface enhancement and as a final finishing step.

Copper alloys electropolished

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  • C101 copper
  • C110 copper
  • Beryllium copper
  • Copper-nickel
  • Aluminum bronze

How does electropolishing work?

Combining a chemical bath and an electrical current, electropolishing enables controlled and consistent removal of surface material with Ra improvement of up to 50%.

The ultrasmooth finish is free of burrs, microcracks and other surface anomalies left behind by machining processes. The electropolishing improves conductivity of aluminum and copper parts used in EV battery fittings, connectors and other electrical components.

Benefits of electropolishing for EV battery components

Here’s an overview of what electropolishing can do for EV battery parts:

  • Improve conductivity
  • Smooth radiused edges
  • Eliminate surface pits and risers
  • Eliminate burrs
  • Improve micro-finish by up to 50%
  • Enhance corrosion resistance
  • Enhance resistance to oxidation
  • Leave parts in a passive state

Electropolishing excellence and innovation for EV battery manufacturers

Aluminum alloys electropolished

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  • 1100
  • 3003
  • 5052
  • 6061
  • 7075

A pioneer of the process, Able Electropolishing has 70 years of experience and collaboration with engineers in industries such as automotive, aerospace, electronics, medical and semiconductor.

Able Electropolishing often starts with consultations during the prototyping stage to ensure finishing considerations are integrated into part design. Able’s process is tailored to deliver the highest quality results for a diverse array of parts, with custom rack makers on each shift 24/5 to handle even the most delicate or intricate components with precision and uniformity.

Able uses robotic automation to ensure consistent and repeatable results and their start-to-finish customer service includes sourcing, logistical and supply chain support — with the goal of helping customers get to market quickly.

Electropolishing for interior and exterior auto parts

Electropolishing small, critical interior auto parts greatly reduces the threat of lingering metal shavings, burrs and embedded contaminants that can compromise a vehicle’s performance. The process removes a precise amount of surface metal from parts to brighten, deburr, improve corrosion resistance and remove imperfections and contaminants left behind by stamping, turning and other manufacturing processes.

Auto manufacturers also need a process to remove weld discoloration and improve corrosion resistance of exterior metal parts. Electropolishing does all of this in one process, giving the stainless steel a uniformly bright, shiny and chrome-like appearance. Stringent salt spray and humidity tests show that electropolished parts have much higher ability to withstand corrosion and the effects of harsh elements like road salt, which causes corrosion and discoloration over time.

Able Electropolishing recommends sending samples for electropolishing so that customers can evaluate both finish and dimensional changes. If electropolishing is included during the design stage, the material removal can be factored into final size specifications.

Figure 1: Metal alloys electropolished for automotive. Source: Able ElectropolishingFigure 1: Metal alloys electropolished for automotive. Source: Able Electropolishing

Figure 2: Metal finishing for the automotive industry. Source: Able ElectropolishingFigure 2: Metal finishing for the automotive industry. Source: Able ElectropolishingTechnical guide: Metal finishing for the automotive industry

Auto engineers are focused on proper function, safety, reliability and performance of metal parts. Electropolishing can yield a bright and uniform surface finish that will never crack or peel, greatly increasing corrosion resistance and fatigue life improvement.

Whitepaper: Electropolishing for significantly

Figure 3: Electropolishing for significantly improved corrosion resistance. Source: Able ElectropolishingFigure 3: Electropolishing for significantly improved corrosion resistance. Source: Able Electropolishing improved corrosion resistance

Learn why enhanced corrosion resistance is one of the most common reasons engineers across a variety of industries rely on electropolishing to finish their critical metal parts, especially for parts made of stainless steel. Three included case studies show the difference electropolishing makes.

Learn more about electropolishing and see the results

Watch the video on electropolishing versus passivation to see the metal finishing processes in action.

Able Electropolishing’s reliable, high-quality results for critical metal parts are the product of seven decades of experience, innovation and commitment to the success of their customers.

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Learn more about electropolishing for EV battery parts