How To Choose The Electropolishing And Mechanical Polishing
Electropolishing, also known as electrolytic polishing, applies to various alloys. The alloys include copper, stainless steel, carbon steel, titanium, and metal finishing. Being a polishing process, it polishes metal parts electrochemically. Thus, removing extra surface metal makes a smoother surface type. The uneven ‘’bumps’’ initially present on the metal part get leveled.
What Is Mechanical Polishing Finishing?
Mechanical polishing is a finishing process that needs the use of abrasives. We use the process to polish and smoothen a surface. Thus, giving the surface part a shiny appearance and a smoother texture. ‘’Bumps’’, present on the surface, become smaller once we polish the surface mechanically. Abrasives such as sandpaper get used in the polishing process. We first used coarse-grained sandpaper at the start. Afterward, we finish up with fine-grained sandpaper.
Essential Considerations on Mechanical Polishing
We can provide a good surface profile with mechanical polishing on high and low purity applications. On the downside, mechanical polishing fails in removing inclusions. These are fragments pushed further into a surface. The situation worsens if the inclusions get deeper into corrosion areas. Additionally, we obtain bright surfaces by removing contaminants present on the parts via the mechanical finishing process.
The generation of featureless surfaces is obtainable by electropolishing procedure. This displays the metal’s crystal structure that doesn’t change even in cold-working processes.
How Does Electropolishing Work?
Below are a few items and conditions needed for electropolishing to work:
- Anode (a metal part to be electropolished)
- The temperature of electrolyte (typically 77-83 degrees Celsius)
- Amount of time of placement in electrical current
The density of electrical current (differs by electrolytes; the typical range is 140-250 amps per square foot). In the process, immersion of the metal part in a temperature-regulated electrolyte liquid acts as the anode. In contrast, another metal part gets immersed into the same electrolyte bath as a cathode. The power supply of the anode and cathode is the DC. Once the power is on, current flows from the anode, oxidizing a layer. Simultaneously, the electrolyte gets dissolved. Thus, moving the dissolved anode closer to the surface of the cathode.
This description simply implies a thin layer of metal gets chemically removed from itself. In other terms, electropolishing is the complete opposite of electroplating. The latter involves adding a thin layer of metal to its surface. In contrast, electropolishing uses electrolytes concentrated with acid solutions. The standard acid solutions used include sulfuric acid and phosphoric acid.
What’re The Essential Considerations of The Electropolishing Process?
The Condition of The Surface workpiece
After electropolishing, the result mainly depends on the non-metallic component inside a metal. Some electropolishing results are less desirable. Other contributing factors are:
- bad annealing
- inadequate cold reduction
- excessive cold working
- large-grained surface
The electropolishing process must be controlled and standardized to obtain the best outcome. Lack of process controls leads to defective and unstable products.
We process stainless steel electropolish to ensure the correct electrolyte gets used. We also monitor the electrolyte temperature, keeping the range at a certain degree. The acid concentration, metal content, and supply of ripple-free DC power also matter in achieving the desired outcome.
What are The Advantages of Electropolishing Finishing?
Improves Corrosion Resistance
A corrosion-resistant layer forms on the surface of the metal part after electropolishing. This result is possible because the electropolish removes the iron residue. Thus, making the surface part non-interactable with air, causing corrosion. An added benefit is an increase in the durability of a metal part.
Better Surface Finish
Electropolishing aids in the removal of the workpiece layer uniformly. Thus, freeing the surface of any debris and contaminants. Since we use human hands to do mechanical polishing, to lead the chance of obtaining an uneven layer of a workpiece is higher.
Unlike electropolishing, mechanical polishing can’t reach small areas. For instance, undercuts, drill holes, and tiny gaps. Electropolishing can polish every surface perfectly and with ease.
How to Choose Between Electropolishing And Mechanical Polishing
While using mechanical polishing, the metal surfaces or parts improve by reducing surface roughness. Thus, making the surface smooth. In addition, we can enhance stainless steel alloys, aluminum, metal finishes, and minor ones through mechanical polish. Hence, metal polish is best applicable for metals parts after metal welds.
Electropolishing renders a better service if you want burrs removed or cleaning scratches. The production process is also fast. For example, we use the method if many metal parts need a better surface finish. Thus, electropolishing produces a better surface polish as well as time-saving.
It is convenient to choose manual polishing while dealing with a few prototypes. The option is better because the cost of producing one prototype via electropolishing is higher than manual polishing. Further, the order of the service rendered by the suppliers is minimal.
Which Finishing Is Suitable For Your Projects?
Both electropolishing and manual polishing play an essential role. That is to give a finishing touch to any kind of metal. The processes both aid metal parts in hiding surface defects well. Stainless steel corrosion resistance improves by increasing the chrome to iron ratio by 4%. Making electropolishing a better option as it increases resistance by 30x.
While mechanical polishing, metal, and plastic do not generate dangerous chemical reactions. Thus, knowing the differences between electropolishing and mechanical aids in budget-making while choosing the best finishing service to suit your project.
Creatingway concentrates on CNC machining manufacturing, prototype machining, low-volume manufacturing, metal fabrication, and parts finishing services, providing you with the best support and services. ask us one inquire now.
Any questions or RFQ for metal& plastic technology and custom machining, welcome to contact us below
Call +86-0(755)-89492523 or send an inquiry to us
Welcome to visit us, For any metal and plastic design and machining questions, we are here to support you. Our services email address: