Getting to Know ASTM, SAE, and ISO Standards | Able Electropolishing

When Excellence is Standard: Getting to Know ASTM, SAE, and ISO

April 24, 2024


In an undertaking as meticulous and methodical as electropolishing and passivation, it’s important to get the details right.

That includes meeting the criteria established by outside standard-setting bodies that ensure the highest-quality materials and parts for critical industries like pharmaceuticals, medical device manufacturing, aerospace, automotive engineering, and more. Able meets standards set by ASTM, SAE, and ISO.

Here is a deeper look at these standard setters. 

ASTM International (Formerly The American Society for Testing and Materials)

Founded in 1898 in Philadelphia, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) initially focused on issuing its first standard on steel rails in 1901 and supporting World War II efforts with emergency standards in 1942. Over the years, ASTM expanded globally and launched tools, platforms, and documents to enhance standards for construction, manufacturing, materials science, and environmental testing.

A commonly used specification for electropolishing stainless steel, ASTM B912: “Standard Specification for Passivation of Stainless Steels Using Electropolishing,” requires performance tests that can include salt spray, humidity, or copper sulfate testing. The ASTM A380 and ASTM A967 passivation standards establish requirements for stainless steel passivation that can include precleaning, chemical descaling, degreasing, as well as testing for corrosion resistance, including salt spray, humidity and water immersion testing. ASTM F86 is designed to ensure the biocompatibility of parts used for surgical implants, establishing standards for corrosion resistance and the removal of defects and contaminants left behind by machining processes.

SAE International (Formerly The Society of Automotive Engineers)

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) emerged in 1905 during the automotive industry's formative years, eventually uniting engineers and technical experts dedicated to advancing safety and technology in the automotive, aerospace and commercial transportation industries. Now SAE International, the group is comprised of over 125,000 engineers and technical experts who study and develop consensus standards.

Fun Fact: SAE member Elmer Sperry reportedly introduced the term "automotive" from Greek autos (self), and Latin motivus (of motion).

SAE establishes standards that define the best practices for processing aerospace, automotive and commercial vehicle components. The AMS 2700 passivation specification establishes industry standards for the passivation of certain types of stainless steel parts to remove surface contaminants like free iron to enhance corrosion resistance and longevity of the part.

ISO (The International Organization for Standardization)

Just two years after World War II ended, 25 country delegates came together in London to found the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1947. The goal was to set global standards to boost trade and quality across industries. The group – now headquartered in Switzerland – has members from over 160 nations who guide practices and ensure global quality and safety across sectors.

ISO sets the global standard for smoothing and passivating stainless steel by electropolishing with ISO 15730.

How Able Meets & Exceeds Global Standards 

At Able, our process begins and ends with quality assurance. This means our customers can trust us to deliver high-quality metal finishing services that meet both global standards and diligent internal processes of quality control.

Our electropolishing and passivation methods are also anchored in the Quality Management Systems-Process Validation Guidance by SG3, a framework endorsed by The Global Harmonization Task Force. While this validation is vital for our medical device partners, it also benefits our customers across every industry. Adhering to these standards ensures we consistently deliver services that meet and exceed our customers' expectations.

We start by mapping our processes with detailed flow charts, identifying potential areas of improvement and risk. Each piece of equipment is rigorously tested in line with its operational manuals, and we've integrated a proactive maintenance schedule into our ISO-quality system to maintain peak performance.

A Metal Finishing Partner You Can Rely On

When you partner with Able for your metal finishing needs, you can be confident that your parts are finished in compliance with standards that ensure the highest-quality results, including ASTM, SAE, and ISO.

For more information about these standards and our practices for ensuring the best results for your parts, contact our team at or call us at (888) 868-2900. You can also see the results for yourself by sending us a sample part to electropolish for free. We will even pay for shipping.

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