Electropolishing

Our best solution for the highest demands.

Electropolishing offers many advantages over the mechanical processing of metal surfaces. The following characteristics are achieved with electropolishing:

  • Smooth and glossy surfaces Micro-smoothing through electropolishing
    Mikroglättung durch Elektropolieren
  • High corrosion resistance
  • Metallic purity and chemical passivity
  • Optimal cleaning behaviour
  • Particle-free and pyrogen-resistant
  • Quality control by uncovering machining and material defects (defectoscopy)
  • Deburring in the micro- and macro-range
  • Heavily reduced film propensity
  • Significantly reduced degassing behaviour
  • Reduced friction and less wear and tear

Electropolishing – how is it done?

Schematische Darstellung ElektropolierenElectropolishing represents the reversal of the electrolytic process. Under the action of direct current, metal is removed from the workpiece surface in an electrolyte (solution with high conductivity). The component to be electropolished forms the positive pole (anode) and the cathode the negative pole, which completes this electric cell. If the current flow is switched on, metal dissolves on the anode surface and dissolves within the electrolyte. The material removal can be specifically determined by the respective electrolyte, the current density and the polishing time.
A feature of electropolishing is that the process is initiated only under the influence of current, so that the polishing can be carried out precisely according to the targets. In addition, the individual adaptation of the cathodes to the workpiece can also selectively remove material according to the customer’s requirements.

Optics vs. functionality.

A distinction of the surface specifications makes sense according to the application. Is it an optical or functional surface? Depending on the requirements, the luminance effect generated by electropolishing can already be sufficient. However, in industrial applications, target roughness values (e.g. average roughness Ra) are often defined which can be achieved by means of a concrete material removal.
Typical removal values lie between 10 and 35 µm in the case of electropolishing. Depending on the starting material and pretreatment of the surface, however, these vary.

There are next to no limits when it comes to electrochemical processing. If a cathode can be introduced into a component without contact, we can also electropolish it. Practical examples include:

  • Tubes, tube systems, fittings,
  • Special parts,
  • Heat exchanger tubes, tube bundles and plates,
  • Valves,
  • Pumps,
  • Circuit boards,
  • Storage tanks, mixing and batch tanks,
  • Cryostats, fermenters, agitators and built-in components,
  • Reactors
  • Installations and complete systems,
  • and much more.

Every material has particular characteristics. The composition of the metallic alloy has a considerable effect on the electropolishing.
The HENKEL electrolytes support the following materials, amongst others:

  • Stainless steel (including 1.4435, 1.4404/ 316L, 1.4539/ 904L, etc.),
  • Duplex stainless steels,
  • Nickel and nickel alloys (incl. alloy 59, Hastelloy®, Inconel®),
  • Aluminium,
  • Copper,
  • Niobium,
  • Titanium and titanium alloys (incl. Nitinol),
  • Zirconium
  • Tantalum

The application possibilities of electrochemical polishing are as varied as the application possibilities of stainless steel. Typical fields of application of our customers are:

Interested?

Ask today about the machining options for your components. We would be happy to give you a non-binding offer.