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Process description for Electrolytic Polishing of Stainless Steel


The electropolishing of stainless steel serves to smooth the surface, and thus results in a high degree of gloss and a deburring of cut and punched edges.

The highest current densities and the greatest surface removal are reached on the peak areas of surfaces. As a result, the surfaces become homogenised from the outside to the inside, until the surface is homogeneously glossy polished and levelled. Depending on the chosen material, the following treatment results are achievable:

  • High polishing quality
  • High removal rate
  • Levelling of the surface, combined with a reduction of the micro-surface
  • Polishing and smoothening of the surface
  • Roughness depth reduction in correlation with the preceding manufacturing process
  • Deburring in the micro and macro level
  • Metallic purity and passivity

Advantages of electropolished surfaces

The advantages of electropolished surfaces compared to mechanical treatment are numerous and usually clearly provable. In only one process step, a combination of diverse functional properties can be achieved:

  • Improved corrosion resistance
  • Metallic purity and chemical passivity
  • Optimal cleaning performance
  • Free of particles and pyrogenic stability
  • Quality control by the detection of processing and material faults
  • Deburring in the micro and macro level
  • Strongly minimised tendency for deposit formation
  • Significantly reduced degassing behaviour
  • Optimal weldability and solderability
  • Lower friction and reduced wear and tear

Fields of application

SurTec's electropolishing process is suitable for almost all application areas from the pharmaceutical industry to food and medical technology to the automotive industry.

Material Overview

In general, the following quality classes can be processed: 

  • Austenitic steels
  • Ferritic and martensitic chromium steels
  • Austenitic and ferrenitic CrNi steel
  • CrNiMo steel
  • Highly nickel-containing alloys, such as Hastelloy A detailed material overview is available from our Technical Centre in Germany

More detailed information on the process, its application and its test methods can be found in Technical Letter No. 17 "Electropolishing"


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