Electropolishing provides an ultrasmooth, ultraclean surface, and improves corrosion resistance for metal fasteners.
Metal fasteners such as screws and bolts are critical to the structural integrity of the equipment and devices they secure.
From the titanium screws used in medical implants to heavy bolts used in steel fabrication, waterworks and agricultural equipment, fasteners have big jobs to do.
In the manufacturing process however, which often includes both forging and shot blasting, fasteners are often left with surface defects and discoloration that can leave them susceptible to corrosion and threaten their durability.
While other finishing processes, like passivation, can be useful for removing free iron and contaminants, they are less effective than electropolishing for eliminating surface defects and improving corrosion resistance.
Electropolishing for Fasteners: Elimination of Galling, Burrs and More
The Able electropolishing process combines a modified electrical current with a chemical bath to dissolve a microscopic layer of surface material, leaving metal parts like fasteners with 30x the corrosion resistance that can be achieved by passivation alone.
Here are some other benefits of electropolishing for metal fasteners:
- Elimination of galling – By deburring the threads on metal fasteners, electropolishing can reduce the risk of adhesion between two mating surfaces, which can cause material between the surfaces to deteriorate and seize up when parts are pressed together.
- Deburring – Fasteners made with lighter materials can get warped, scratched, nicked, and bent during production or even shipping. The metal burrs left on the component may have consequences later in the component’s lifespan. Electropolishing removes burrs from incredibly complex or fragile parts that do not lend themselves to conventional tumbling or vibratory finishing techniques.
- Improved corrosion resistance – Electropolishing leaves metal parts, especially stainless steel, with significantly improved corrosion resistance and durability. This is a key benefit for fasteners used outdoor or underground where they are exposed to moisture.
- Microfinish improvement and high shine – Fragile fasteners risk becoming damaged when put through other finishing processes, such as grinding or lapping. Electropolishing reduces microscopic peaks caused by welding, stamping and other metalworking operations.
- Ultracleaning – Electropolishing removes discoloration, embedded rust, oils, and foreign debris.
The Able Electropolishing Difference
Able is a pioneer of electropolishing and has over 50 years of collaboration and innovation with engineers and researchers in developing the processes that make electropolishing so specialized and effective.
Our processes, including robotic automation for consistent and repeatable results, provide a unique combination of benefits with microscopically precise results that cannot be achieved using other metal finishing treatments.
You can also read our whitepaper: Electropolishing for Improved Fit, Function and Appearance of Metal Fasteners.