Stainless Steel Treatments

Electro-Polishing, Passivation, Pickling



At Pilkington Metal Finishing, we offer multiple services to treat stainless steel.

Electropolishing is an electo-chemical process that smoothens, polishes, deburrs and cleans stainless steel, in an electrolytic bath. The process selectively removes high points on metal surfaces, giving the surface a high luster.

Conventional mechanical finishing systems tend to smear, bend, and stress the crystalline metal surface to achieve smoothness or luster. Electropolishing offers the advantage of removing metal from the surface producing a unidirectional pattern that is both stress and occlusion free, and microscopically smooth.

Passivation is the removal of free iron from the surface of the stainless steel. This is done by immersing the steel in an oxidant such as nitric acid. Passivation diminishes surface discoloration and reactivity without affecting thickness.

Pickling (Acid Treatment) is a chemical surface treatment that cleans base metals with a solution that has a pH below 2.0. The acid dissolves and removes oxides, mil-scale and smut.

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Our Process

By meeting rigorous 3rd party requirements, we maintain our Nadcap and ISO certifications. Nadcap is a method used by the aerospace industry to ensure that process quality requirements are communicated, understood, and carried out by all suppliers. While this certification is technically specific to aerospace work, all of our customers’ products are subjected to stringent and refined process controls as a result.

Pilkington also maintains a dedicated customer service and accounting department, separate from the operators performing the service. Customer questions are answered by knowledgeable and helpful members of our team.

Size Capabilities

Process Tank Size Nadcap Certified
Electropolishing 5′ × 3′ × 3′ Yes
Passivation 2′ × 32″ × 3′ Yes
Pickling 2′ × 32″ × 3′ Yes

Applicable Specifications

Specification Title Customer
AMS2700 Passivation of Corrosion resistant Steel Industry Standard
ASTM B117 Standard Practice for Operating Salt Spray (Fog) Apparatus Industry Standard
QQ-P-35 Passivation Treatments for Corrosion-resistant Steel Industry Standard