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topic 0753

Electropolishing the sharp edge of blades while stacked


I'm considering to electropolish a stack of surgical blades ("stacked" in a cartridge or "stiff-wire"), but I'm not sure if it is a good idea. I just have interest in electropolish the sharp edge of the blades, and considering that, in a stack, the edges would be in contact with the chemical baths; I think it is possible to work in this way, but I'm not sure, so I would appreciate your comments or suggestions about this issue.

Thank you very much!

Daniel Ramirez Ibarra
Lehigh University - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania


It seems to me that by clamping several blades in a stack, with a narrow sharp blades projecting out and exposed to the cathode, you should be able to electropolish these edges.

tom pullizzi portrait
Tom Pullizzi
Falls Township, Pennsylvania


I think so too. But I would be concerned about etching the rest of the blade unless they were packed so tight they received no exposure to current.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey



We have had a number of contacts with you and others in your department, but have not been able to talk directly about the problem because of your unusual work hours at Lehigh University.

Tom and Ted both raised good points about this project. We agree that your should be able to achieve reasonable deburring in the stacked configuration. However, from the drawings I have seen, you are thinking of sharpening a 0.001" tip on the blade, not just removing a burr, so the desired effect may be more difficult to obtain.

One of the biggest problems will be etching in low current density areas, as Ted Mooney has already mentioned. Another problem may be preventing acid seepage into the interior of the stack which can also cause chemical attack on your 400-series alloy if the acid cannot be thoroughly removed or neutralized in rinsing.

Ed Bayha
Metal Coating Process Corporation - Charlotte, North Carolina

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