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A Basic Guide on Passivation of Stainless-Steel Parts

Dec 6th 2018 at 12:32 AM

How does the passivation of stainless-steel parts work?

Passivation is the post-fabrication process which is used for many grades of stainless steel that has adequate levels of chromium and nickel content. It cannot be used for all grades of the steel. To understand how the passivation process works first you have to look at the basics of stainless steel.

Stainless steel derives its corrosion resistant properties from chromium content present in it. Under ideal conditions, chromium present in the stainless steel reacts with air (oxygen) to form the thin layer of chromium oxide on the surface of the stainless-steel part. This oxide layer gives stainless steel its corrosion resistance properties.

But under real conditions, microscopic iron particles and other foreign materials are transferred to the surface of stainless-steel parts during the machining process. These foreign materials resist the formation of natural chromium oxide film on the surface of stainless-steel parts. Therefore, these foreign materials need to be removed from the surface of stainless-steel parts, and passivation is the process of removal of ferrous iron particle and other contaminants from the surface of stainless-steel parts.

In this process, a stainless-steel part is submerged into the solution of the nitric acid or citric acid for a certain period of time at a certain temperature. This acid removes the tramp iron and other contaminants from the surface of the stainless-steel part. To passivate stainless steel parts, passivation companies first thoroughly clean stainless-steel parts with commercial cleaners, and then these are immersed into the passivating acid bath to remove impurities.

How to choose the right passivation company?

Choosing the right passivation company is very important to achieve the desired results. Here are a few suggestions to help you choose the right passivation companies:

•  Make sure passivation company you are interested in has proper licensing. Metal finishing companies need to be authorized by the local government authorities. Choose a licensed and certified passivation company.

•  Ask questions about the experience of the company in the metal finishing industry. Choose a passivation company that has a team of experienced engineers and designers. Also make sure the company has sufficient machinery, equipment, staff, and facilities to process large orders because you do not want delays in the process. Make sure your company adheres to timelines.

•  Read the testimonials and online reviews of clients. Do clients recommend the company? If you do not find any positive recommendations, look for another company.

If you are looking for passivation companies in your area, you can follow these key suggestions to choose the right one.

So, this was the basic guide on the passivation process. If you are looking for economic finishing process of stainless-steel parts, no doubt passivation is one of the best in the business.


Sun-Glo Plating Company offering services such as powder coating, CNC machining, CARC painting, Hardcoat anodizing, chromic acid anodizing, silver plating, zinc electroplating, cadmium plating, vapor degreasing, metal polishing, passivation, tumble finishing, wet painting, etc. To know more, visit

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