Do you have products that need electropolishing? At Kaspar Wire Works, our entire plant is here to provide for your finishing needs. Our facilities include a wide range of technological machinery that produces a variety of finishes, including electropolishing.
Electropolishing is similar to electroplating in that each involves using an electrochemical process to produce a uniform, smooth finish on a part. An electrical current is passed through a chemical solution, known as an electrolyte, and the current and chemicals act upon the metals that are used as electrical conductors. If a new, thin layer of metal is deposited on the metal, that’s electroplating. Electropolishing , also known as electrochemical polishing, leaves a smooth, uniform surface once a thin surface layer of metal is removed.
The Electropolishing Process
With electroplating, metal is added to the underlying metal. With electropolishing, the intent is to remove surface irregularities and impurities from the part. The material to be electropolished is used as a positively charged electrode, while a “dummy” piece of material is used as the negatively charged one. As the current flows through the circuit formed by these materials, the surface of the positively charged material is essentially peeled away at the atomic level, eventually resulting in a completely uniform surface.
What Else Is Involved in Electropolishing?
As electrochemical processes, several setup and finishing steps must occur for both electroplating and electropolishing. The materials in use must be specially cleaned with chemical solutions to remove as many outside elements and impurities as possible. This is necessary to ensure that the process occurs in full, and as efficiently as possible (too many impurities may impede the process from happening at all). Parts may also be mechanically finished prior to an electrochemical process, but this step is not always necessary. Finally, finished parts are also cleaned with a chemical bath following the process to remove any byproducts that were introduced.
Why Is Electropolishing Used?
Electropolishing is used to produce a mirror-like, uniform finish on the base material, and is used:
- When smooth, impurity-resistant finishes are required for an application, such as medical, food grade, pharmaceutical, aerospace or electronic components
- For aesthetic reasons to provide a more attractive appearance for a product
Not sure whether electropolishing or another type of finishing might be more appropriate for your product? Talk to us. Our finishing experts will work with you before and during the production process to ensure that you choose the appropriate finish for your product and that you’re happy with the final result. We also offer X-ray thickness testing to confirm that the product received the identical quality finish you requested.
While we’re based in Texas, we serve customers throughout the United States. Contact us today to learn more about electropolishing and other finishing services we offer.