Pickling & Passivation

Stainless steel attains its corrosion resistance by the formation of a chrome oxide layer, which passivates the surface of the steel. On a sufficiently clean surface, this
will occur naturally, but its speed of formation and effectiveness are enhanced by the chemical processes known as pickling and passivation.

The first stage of pickling, preceded, if necessary, by degreasing, will clean the surface of contaminants such as grease, oil and accidental contact with mild steels, which may have been introduced during the manufacturing process and the second stage of passivation will accelerate the formation of the chrome oxide layer.

The importance of pickling cannot be overstressed, because apart from the aesthetic benefits which pickling imparts, a stainless steel product which is not pickled and passivated will have an inferior resistance to corrosion, which may compromise its service life.


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