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Tri-Clover Clamp Finishing

Tri-clover Clamp

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Q. I read the standard finish is 20 to 25Ra. My purchasing agent was told that EP would not enhance the appearance. This will be a class 100,000 room and needs to look good.

Comments and suggestions appreciated.

John Faulkner
Designer - Cleveland, Ohio, USA
June 6, 2012

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A. Hi John.

Mechanically finished surfaces, no matter how finely finished, will at sufficient magnification resemble a plowed field. An electropolished surface at sufficient magnification will resemble ocean swells.

For this reason, electropolishing is sometimes specified in the food and pharmaceutical industry, where it is desired that the finish have absolutely no tooth to catch anything, no matter how microscopic. But it is not true that an electropolished surface will necessarily be brighter or look better. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
June 6, 2012

A. Spec info like size and application would help.

tony kenton
AF Kenton
retired business owner - Hatboro, Pennsylvania
June 10, 2012

A. I've electropolished a zillion tri-clover fitting for the pharma industry with no complaints.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina
June 12, 2012

Q. Jeff,

Does the EP appearance of Tri-Clover clamps warrant the extra time and cost from an appearance point of view?


John Faulkner
- Hauppauge, New York, USA
June 15, 2012

A. John F. Electropolishing isn't terribly expensive. Whether it's warranted or not, only the customer can say. Many pharma manufacturers insist on EP for the reason Ted described above, which results in easier cleanability, and possibly improved corrosion resistance.

However, stainless can certainly be polished to a near mirror finish by mechanical means.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina
June 19, 2012

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