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Passivating a small 410 stainless steel component


We have a small shower door detail that is 410 stainless steel material. There has been some machining on this detail prior to assembly. At this point I am told , that a passivating process needs to be done to prevent a corrosion/rust situation. Is nitric acid the solution ? These parts are very small, probably 1000 of these details would fit in a five gallon bucket easily.

My question is, am I able to do this in the shop? What is the process? What are the environmental and safety concerns I will have to deal with ? Or do not bother and let the professionals in this field handle this?

Thank You for your expertise.

Greg Jacobs
- Troy, Michigan, USA


I would suggest letting a professional handle this. Passivation is not a very expensive, or complex process; however it is very dangerous, and if you aren't set up properly you could get yourself into a lot of trouble. If you absolutely have to do it yourself, I would recommend using Citric acid, you will get the same passivated effect on your parts, but citric is a lot less harmful.

Chadwick J. Murray
- Bradford, Pennsylvania


Our citric acid formulations are used all over the world to passivate 410 stainless steel. If you want to do it yourself we can help you get set up, but you may want to take the job to a professional if you are uncomfortable with doing it. Citric acid formulations are safe and easy to use, and nobody will get hurt; but you still need to know what you are doing. All 400 grades steels should be hardened in order to passivate.

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Lee Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
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McHenry, Illinois
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