Electropolishing or reverse plating is the process of smoothing metal surfaces to make them highly resistant to corrosion. A blended chemical electrolyte bath and rectified current is used to eliminate flaws from the metal surface. High corrosion resistance, deburred edges, minimized radio-active contamination, optimum reflectivity, and reduced friction are some common benefits of electropolishing.
In electropolishing, a fabricated steel tank with rubber lining containing concentrated acid or alkaline solution forms the electrolyte. Stainless steel, copper, titanium, or any other metal to be polished forms the positive side (anode) of the power source. On application of an electric current, the metal at the anode dissolves into the electrolyte. Protrusions, recesses, and rough surfaces, wherein the current density is higher get dissolved faster than the other areas, results in a smooth and uniform surface.
Electropolishing is best suited for polishing stainless steel parts. Superior to pickling and mechanical polishing, it retains the luster, adds corrosion resistant properties, and prevents tarnishing. Typically, parts are electrocleaned prior to electropolishing.