Electropolishing and the Marine Industry

Stainless steel is a common choice for use in the marine industry due to its strength and structural integrity. 316 and 304 grade stainless steel are the most common types for marine use. While aluminum is sometimes used in marine construction, it does not offer the same corrosion resistance, strength or lustre that stainless steel can.

Stainless steel provides greater corrosion resistance than aluminum – however, prolonged exposure to the elements – including salt water and sea spray, can lead to corrosion and rust problems, compromising the quality of stainless steel structures and equipment.

Stainless steel failures are commonly attributed to pitting and crevice corrosion. Keeping stainless steel clean can improve its corrosion resistance and durability.

Treating marine stainless steel with our electropolishing services can improve on the features of stainless steel, including:

  • Improved corrosion resistance
  • Improved rust protection
  • Clean, smooth finish
  • Life extension

Marine stainless steel is left smooth and clean, with a finish free of imperfections which could compromise its strength. Electropolishing can also protect steel against rust and discolouration.

Because of the harsh elements marine stainless steel is exposed to, maintenance is critical. Electropolishing can protect your stainless steel and your investment from the elements.

Electropolishing

Electropolishing is a process that streamlines the microscopic surface of a metal object by removing metal from the object’s surface through an electrochemical process similar to, but the reverse of, electroplating.

Electropolishing works by effectively removing stainless steel by first shedding the metal peaks, or high points, of the treated surface.

There are numerous benefits to electropolishing, including:

  • Better Physical Appearance
  • Enhanced Mechanical Properties
  • Better Corrosion Resistance
  • Provides a clean, smooth surface that’s easier to sterilise
  • Able to polish areas that are inaccessible by other polishing methods

Electropolishing Services with International Corrosion Services

Since 2015, ICS have had Western Australia’s largest electropolish bath for the treatment of stainless steel.

Standard ASTM B912 recommends the pickle and passivation of stainless steel to ASTM A380 as a pre-treatment process. Our electropolish bath is the only facility in Western Australia able to facilitate this large-scale service.

The electropolish facility at ICS includes:

  • 5000amp state of the art German manufactured rectifier
  • Mixer for agitation of the fluid
  • Temperature sensor
  • Electrical heaters
  • Electrical control panel and control units
  • Bath cover/lid (manual handling)
  • Fumes exhaust system
  • Waste Disposal and recycling system
  • 10 tonne and 5 tonne overhead cranes

Our electropolishing bath can treat stainless steel up to 6.5m long, 1.5m deep and 1.3m wide. While larger pieces can be treated using a double dip method, a slight demarcation line may appear if there is an overlap.

Your equipment is guaranteed to be free of the risk of cross-contamination, as we exclusively treat stainless steel. We use soft slings to move stainless steel, ensuring there are no damage or scratches to the steel.

Click here to find out more about our Electropolishing services and contact us today for treatment.