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Smoothing and enhancing the appearance of a metal surface by making it an anode in a suitable electrolyte. Also known as electrolytic brightening; electrolytic polishing.


A method of polishing metal surfaces by applying an electric current through an electrolytic bath in a process that is the reverse of plating. The metal to be polished is made the anode in an electric circuit. Anodic dissolution of protuberant burrs and sharp edges occurs at a faster rate than over the flat surfaces and crevices, possibly because of locally higher current densities. The result produces an exceedingly flat, smooth, brilliant surface.

Electropolishing is used for many purposes. The brilliance of the polished surface makes an attractive finish. Because the polished surface has the same structural properties as the base metal, it serves as an excellent surface for plating. Electropolishing avoids causing differential surface stresses, one of the requirements for the formation of galvanic cells which cause corrosion. Because no mechanical rubbing is involved, work hardening is avoided. Contaminants, which often are associated with the use of abrasives and polishing compounds, are also avoided. The surface is left clean and may require little or no preparation for subsequent treatment or use. Electropolishing also minimizes loss of high-temperature creep-rupture strength. See Electroplating of metals

References in periodicals archive ?
The unit is offered in stainless steel, Hastelloy, or alternate metals with optional pharmaceutical grade mechanical and electropolish finishes.
John Swain said: "We've come a long way since our first sub-contract order to electropolish stainless steel chocolate moulds for Cadbury's Milk Tray back in the 70s.
The Metfab Electropolishing System lets manufacturers sharpen, deburr, passivate, and electropolish parts such as surgical drills, stents, and screens in-house.
Figure 1 shows scanning electron microscope (SEM) pictures of laser-cut apertures with no electropolish, with electropolish and with electropolish followed with nickel plating.
The filter housings feature finishes available for wetted surfaces and the outer housing of the vessels, which include a 32 micro-inch sanitary with a bright electropolish finish.
We currently electropolish a liner and cup rest made from 304 SS that are assembled on a machine for mixing and dispensing soft drinks.
A number of advanced features make the SD pump ideal as a feed pump in a filling process, as a part of a clean in place practice, or in a high-volume dispensing application: The pump is fabricated with electropolish stainless steel with 3.