What is Chemical Passivation?
Passivating stainless steel removes microscopic iron particles that may have been deposited during manufacturing steps and those within the part close to the surface. Removing the iron makes the stainless steel’s chromium react with oxygen, forming an invisible, protective layer. To qualify as “stainless,” steel must have a chromium content exceeding 10.5 percent.
Essentially, the passivation process makes stainless steel more resistant to corrosion or rusting. Stainless steel is never 100% rust-proof, but with proper techniques, it will be as close as possible.
What Passivation Does Not Do
In general, passivation does not discharge existing stains or rust. That requires other methods, such as light abrasion, bead blasting, tumbling and sometimes sanding. Passivation also does not remove weld scale, black oxides and burn marks from welding.
How Does Stainless Steel Passivation Work?
Passivating stainless steel is a preventative measure that draws the free irons away from the stainless steel or titanium part that could cause corrosion.
To be classified as "stainless," steel must have a chromium content exceeding 10.5 percent. The chromium helps the steel's iron portion resist combining with oxygen, which is how rust is generated. stainless Steel can rust but does so much less than other alloys.
This process will increase your parts' resistance to corrosion and provide a better, more aesthetically pleasing product for your customers. Since stainless steel is expensive, passivation is well worth the investment.
How Does Chemical Passivation Work?
RP Abrasives' chemical passivation process uses acids and deionized water to render a steel surface “passive” and thus less susceptible to corrosion or rust due to environmental factors such as air or water. Many of our existing medical and food industry customers had requested that we provide these services since they are often required within their industries to do so. As we expanded our capabilities to meet our customer's needs, we soon found that we could provide this service on its own.
We use a citric acid-based solution to passivate stainless steel and titanium because it's the most effective and environmentally friendly option. It is very selective in removing just the free irons on or near the surface of a part.
Contact RP Abrasives for Chemical Passivation Services
At RP Abrasives, we offer chemical passivation options depending on the needs of our customers. We can passivate a wide range of part sizes, including batches of small parts and individual larger parts. Contact us today for more information about chemical passivation or request a quote below!