Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.


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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Engineering. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Electropolishing and passivation are very popular for orthopedic devices," noted Scott Potter, VP of sales at Able Electropolishing, a Chicago, Ill.-based firm that provides metal finishing services to companies from a wide variety of industries that use conventional and specialty metal alloys.
The electropolishing process allows for smoothening, glossing, and improving the appearance of element surface.
Titanium Electropolishing and Color Anodizing: Deburr, passivate, and improve surface finish on your parts while providing easy identification.
Subsequently electropolishing and two steps anodization were carried out as explained above.
However, unlike the macropores etched for 360 min, both nanopores and electropolishing were achieved at the lower time and the in situ characterizations were performed for up to 120 min.
The company operates two commercial vehicles, which collect and return a wide range of stainless steel items, requiring pickling or electropolishing, from diverse manufacturers situated in the south of England.
An in situ laser process duplicates all but one of the results of both passivation and electropolishing. Native stainless steel was created by dissolving the free iron back into the matrix.
Then I chose some of the ugly ones to try fixing by electropolishing or fire lapped.
Able has many electrolytes to allow for electropolishing on a broad range of metals.
A WEST Midlands-based electropolishing specialist which processes parts for Apache helicopters, nuclear reactors and medical implants has recorded its best ever year.
A West Midlands-based electropolishing firm, which processes parts for Apache helicopters, is on course for its best ever year.