Electropolishing and the Medical Industry

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 and the Medical Industry

Electropolishing is a highly effective choice of stainless steel treatment for medical and surgical equipment. The stainless steel surface is left not only smooth and corrosive resistant but also clean.

This clean, smooth finish left by electropolishing is critical for medical equipment. The smooth, passive finish prevents equipment from jamming and surgical utensils are kept sharp and accurate. Electropolishing can also remove discolouration from stainless steel equipment, leaving a clean, sterile appearance.

Even items ready for implant can be treated with electropolish. Implantable items need to be biocompatible and free of contaminants. The surface left by electropolishing is not only free of contaminants and corrosive resistant, but inhibits bacteria growth and is ideal for surgical procedures.

Other medical and surgical equipment that is commonly electropolished include scalpels, clamps, saws and prosthetics.

Electropolishing also reduces the risk of the following within the medical industry:

  • Implant rejection and bio-incompatibility
  • The spread of pathogen
  • Premature failure
  • Contamination
  • Bacteria growth
  • 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.