plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Is electropolished surface damaged by scotchbright or buffing?
September 24, 2012
I am wondering if cosmetic scratch repair preformed on 304 stainless steel has compromised the corrosion resistance of the piece?
A small scratch was buffed with a scotch bright pad and then polished with a buffing wheel.
Does this electropolished layer regenerate?
- Shoreview, Minnesota, USA
A. Hi Matt.
If you are sure that no used scotchbrite or buffing pads were involved, it may be all right; but I think the safer bet is to passivate it.
If it's a medical, pharmaceutical, or food application, though, the surface not being electropolished may be a violation because there is a difference between a mechanically polished surface (plowed farmer's field furrows) vs. an electropolished surface (smooth ocean swells).
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
A. Matt, The electropolished layer does not regenerate by itself - it will need re-electropolishing. You do not say what the article is, but if it is possible to re-prepare the surface and then re-electropolish, it will give you a much better result. This may not be an easy task, so you should consult a reputable electropolishing company
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK