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topic 7350

Dull Stainless Steel After ElectropolishingˇÜ³.But I Want it Shiny!


I am having huge problems electropolishing some 304 stainless steel wire. We use a Phosphoric, sulphuric acid bath and usually the wire is very shiny and highly reflective.

Using a new batch of wire, the surface is dull and on closer inspection much preferential etching is occurring. Have tried changing the current to see if this changes things, but unfortunately it doesn't.

Is there a problem with the bath (which appears to be electropolishing other parts quite well) or with the wire material?

Is there something I may be able to add to the bath to aid in forming a surface that isn't dull?

Thanks in advance.

Kayte Worrall
- Melbourne, Australia


Two common causes of etching are:

Sound like the wire, but I don't really know what spec you would insist on. Hopefully, someone else can offer further advice.

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


Hi Kate,

If the same solution is being used to polish other items and they are OK, are you using a separate rectifier for the wire process? Then that could be the cause, possibly a phase out ? Over temperature could be another possibility.


John Tenison-Woods
John Tenison - Woods
- Victoria Australia

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