plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Change in Surface Structure of 304L Stainless Steel
Is there a way that the surface structure of 304L Stainless Steel can be changed during a hand finishing operation? Specifically, putting a Matte finish on the steel. We are seeing a pitting issue with the 304L Stainless Steel with this type of finish and processing through an acid etch of 20% HNO3 and 3% HF. When the same type of finish is applied to regular 304 Stainless Steel we do not see the same problem. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.Ronald Simpson
- Phoenix, Arizona, USA
It's not the surface structure; it's probably oils left behind that are turning the passivation bath into an aggressive organic acid. Cures are very very extended cleaning times, and very sharp tools. See our FAQ on Passivation of Stainless Steel. Good luck.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
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