Electropolishing is a method used to polish metal parts after they have been cleaned. Electropolishing will smooth out the surface of the metal, removing any specks or ripples that might tarnish its appearance.
An electropolishing system has a tank full of an electrolyte solution that acts as the anode. The object being polished is submerged in this solution, which is connected to a positive terminal from a DC power supply. The negative terminal on the same power supply is attached to the cathode. As the current passes from the anode to the cathode, the reaction produces hydrogen. The hydrogen in the fluid causes the friction that scrubs and polishes whatever is immersed in it. Rather than using any kind of mechanical means to polish the metal, electrolysis removes whatever is on the surface one ion at a time.
The difference between an object’s appearance before and after electropolishing can be drastic.
Electropolishing isn’t just done because it gives the metal a better appearance and smoother surface afterwards, although that is part of it. There is also a functional purpose. Some metal is removed from the surface during electropolishing, but this is necessary to restore is to a uniform thickness. This makes electrical resistances even throughout the part instead of focusing the weak resistance points on depressions in the metal.
In contrast to a metal surface that has been polished using mechanical tools, an electropolished piece will always look better because not smudges, scratches or other marks will be left behind. This is because a very thin layer of the metal is actually removed during electropolishing, leaving behind the clean, unharmed metal underneath.
At ESMA, we manufacture several different electropolishing systems. Our diverse product lineup offers units with advantages for every industry.
E782-EP - This convenient unit houses a pre-cleaning stage, electropolishing, and a post-polish rinse all in one. The E782-EP is perfect for facilities in need of a complete electropolishing system. Three two gallon tanks make it easy to clean, polish, and rinse parts. The durable stainless steel cabinet is meant to sit atop a table or workbench.
E299 - Designed specifically for parts that need a high-luster finish, this unit is push button operated with a complete set of digital timer controls. Three one gallon tanks allow for three different stage of electropolishing in the same unit.
E399 - This unit helps to increase the overall quality of finished parts and increase the rate of production at the same time since it is much faster than mechanical polishing methods. The tank volume is two gallons, and a digital temperature control ensures reliable results.
E399-100 - An upgrade to the standard E399 model, the E399-100 has an added auxiliary tank with more polishing power than the base model. The added tank can be created in a custom size and comes with a digitally controlled heater.
E1085-1s - The E1085-1s model is for low-volume electropolishing of finished metal parts. This single station unit has a half gallon capacity while still offering all of the features of a larger electropolisher.
Electropolishing systems from ESMA are used by customers in many different industries for a variety of applications. These include things like: