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What is the difference between pickle passivation and electropolishing?

pickle passivation and electropolishing difference

The main difference between pickle passivation and electropolishing is the appearance and RA (roughness average) of the stainless material. In the photo, an electropolished sample is shown above a pickle passivated sample. The pickle passivated sample has a white appearance, while the electropolished sample has a mirror-like, shiny finish.

Pickle Passivation is the immersion of metal in a pickling bath such as nitric-hydroflouric acid. The process removes metal such as impurities and heat marks from welds.

Electropolishing is an electro-chemical process that removes surface material from stainless steel. The process typically starts with an immersion of the component into a controlled bath of electrolyte that is charged with a DC power supply. Apache’s RA tests show improvements up to 50% smoother, depending on the material.

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