plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Electropolish Processing Vessel with Agitator
We are having new vessels made for the processing of hair care products. We are having the storage tanks electropolished but are wondering about the processing tanks. There is a nylon sweep agitator within the processing vessels and over time you can see the marks in the stainless steel where the sweep moves against the tank (it looks like the mark a Brillo pad would make on a steel pan). This sweep runs the full length of the 20 ft high tank.
We are wondering if it would be beneficial to electropolish these processing vessels as well, or if over time the rubbing of the agitators will not give us any benefit of the electropolish?
I am a student working with this company and looking into this information for them, any response is appreciated.
- Cincinnati, Ohio
The surface of stainless steel is actually "softer" than it would be after electropolishing. Due to the removal of Iron and Nickel ions from the surface, a harder surface with a higher chrome to iron ratio results. In addition, a passive, chromium -oxide -rich film is deposited on the surface by the electropolishing process, thereby adding to the abrasion resistance of the surface.
All this being a given, I think you would benefit from electropolishing the process vessels.Phil Sterrett
- Cleveland, Ohio
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