Passivation of Stainless Steel

Established 1921
Responsive Customer Service
Nationwide Delivery
Highest Quality Plating

EC Willams delivers a number of additional services to give their customers a one stop shop for a large range of finishes.
They pride themselves on delivering the highest quality plating in the UK.

What is passivation of stainless steel?

Passivation of stainless steel is completely different to passivation of zinc plating. A stainless steel part is naturally made of stainless steel, which should be stainless. However, often that’s not the case, stainless steel is an alloy made up of other metals. As a result, it has ferrous metal in it. Some of those small iron particles of the alloy will be present on the surface of your part. What this means is if you take even a moderately high quality stainless steel fastener and you leave it outside for a period of time, it will develop little red dots, which are actually the ferrous parts of the alloy starting to rust.

How does passivation prevent corrosion?

Passivation works by applying a very strong acid, which essentially dissolves any ferrous part out of the surface. Ultimately eliminating the issue of rust or corrosion. We then put the part into a chromic acid which passivates and stops any other oxidisation taking place. The result being a longer lifespan with reduced risk of corrosion.

Passivation at work

A good example of passivation of steel is metal pressings. If you make a quality pressing out of stainless steel but you don’t have it passivated, when you place your thumb on it and let go, it will leave a thumbprint thanks to the acid in your skin. Whereas if the metal pressing has been through the passivation process, the thumbprint won’t appear. The passivation process prevents that sort of attack of the top layer of the stainless steel. It is a very different process for passivation of zinc plating.

Additionally, it will look cleaner for longer.
Due to the aesthetic results many customers request passivation of stainless steel for the quality of the finish, not just the passivation.

Our team of experts are on hand to talk through your project and discuss exactly what you need for an end result you’re happy with.

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