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topic 0276

How to Electropolish Stainless Steel

A discussion started in but continuing through 2019


Q. Dear sir,

I wish to buy a book that covers the practice of stainless steel electropolishing. Have you that book?

Sincerely yours,

Miguel Flesia
- Argentina

A. Hi Miquel. I'm not familiar with any current book that covers just electropolishing. The Metal Finishing Guidebook has some coverage of it, as does Volume 5: Surface Engineering of ASM's Metals Handbook, but the most complete coverage I've seen is in the Electroplating Engineering Handbook by Durney.

Maybe our readers have other suggestions.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


A. I have never seen a whole book written on just electropolishing. There are many good articles in the trade magazines however. I would be glad to try and answer any questions you have as I have 25 years experience in this field.

affil. link
The Electrolytic and Chemical Polishing of Metals
by Tegart

Mark Goldreich
metal finishing shop - Middletown, Connecticut

November 15, 2008

A. Hi. Maybe you can get a used copy of Tegart's "The Electrolytic and Chemical Polishing of Metals in Research and Industry". Good luck.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

To minimize search efforts and to offer multiple viewpoints, we combined previously separate threads onto this page. Please forgive any resultant repetition, failures of chronological order, or what may look like readers disrespecting previous responses -- those other responses may not have been on the page at the time :-)


Q. I'd like to learn how to electropolish stainless steel. Could some one help me with the process?

Flavio Stramare Ribeiro
- Curitiba, Brazil


A. You should look at Metal Finishing Process Corp. This company has a nice website with some general information about electropolishing.

Also at the website of is some information available, but I personally prefer that we all stay at one website with these discussions.

Harry van der Zanden
Harry van der Zanden
- Budapest, Hungary

Ed. note 2014: (with a hyphen) was a Vertical Net site, but is now old history, and a domain-for-sale. The (no hyphen) URL is owned by Elsevier, but they closed Metal Finishing in December 2013 and the site is not maintained.
Update 2019: Both of those domain names appear to be for sale.


A. A long long time ago, the METAL FINISHING published a series of articles on electropolishing, it was very good. I think it was written by Dr. Faust.

sara michaeli
Sara Michaeli sara michaeli signature
chemical process supplier
Tel-Aviv, Israel

A. Hi, Flavio. In addition to those sources, there is a very good chapter on electropolishing of stainless steel in the Electroplating Engineering Handbook.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

Only one side is getting properly electropolished

July 15, 2014

Q. Dear Sir,
Sir we are the manufacturer of Electropolishing chemical & additives in India. Sir we are facing the problem that one side is properly polished and other side is not polishing. Sir please give me some suggestions so to solve the problem. The stainless steel is grade 304 & 316.

276-1a 276-1b 276-1c

Please help me out.
Thanks & Regards

Yogesh Jaggi

Yogesh Jaggi
- Mumbai, Maharastra, India

July 29, 2014

A. Hello Yogesh!

From your photos I'd GUESS that the issue is lack of current density in the unpolished areas, so that all the action is taking place where the cathode is closest to the workpiece (anode). Can you adjust your fixturing? I'd also paint or wax or otherwise make non-conductive that attachment that is sticking out of the piece, around which you have a circle of non-polished area.

If you've already tried this, I cannot think of what else to do. Good luck!

lee gearhart Lee Gearhart
metallurgist - E. Aurora, New York

Reapplying Electropolish process to stainless steel heating coils

February 19, 2019

Q. Q. Has anyone ever had any success at reapplying an electropolish finish to a SS 316 surface? We have coils that have fouled in our MnP process to the point where they require daily maintenance. We have new ones on the way but we were wondering if it could be possible to reapply to the old coils.

Samuel Hunt
- North Vernon, Indiana, US

February 2019

A. Hi Samuel. If the heating coils are gouged from mechanical removal of the MnP it may be necessary to mechanically polish them first, but I don't see why they can't be electropolished again.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
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