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08 Jan 2019
Passivation is a pioneering chemical cleaning method that has been formulated toward the removal of free-iron dust particles and many other ferrous oxides, contaminants from the exterior part of stainless steel parts ( sun-glo.com/passivation ). As experienced in the real world, in post-fabrication stage, welding, machining, as well as handling of stainless steel alloy components typically absorb surface contaminants.

These grimy contaminate, including weld oxides and embedded particles, reduce the natural ability of stainless steel to resist corrosion and thereby shortening the lifespan of vital machine parts. Here comes the role of passivation companies that facilitate enterprises by effective elimination of these tramp surface contaminants via nitric/citric acid and attain corrosion resistive surface ideally needed for long-term applications.

The Process

The passivation process applies a thin translucent chemically inert film onto stainless steel exterior part reducing the reactivity of the object. Prepared with state of the art setting, mechanisms and expert manpower passivation companies commonly undergo the passivation process through submerging the steel alloy in a nitric or citric acid bath. Depending on the class of steel alloys, often the concentration of acid mix, temperature and bathing time are wisely determined that help remove all free foreign pollutants, iron dust, etc and effectively deterring the object to allow oxidation, corrosion, and chemical attack. Importantly, aside from absolute protection, passivation protective film improves the aesthetic value of the treated component brilliantly.

Pickling Vs. Passivation

While both pickling and passivation are two well popular forms of chemical metal treating process and provides excellent protective properties to metal objects against oxidation and rust, they are having some difference when it comes to the intensity of the surface finishing the procedure.

Pickling employs relatively harsh acid bath to treat the surface of metals like ferrous metals, aluminum alloys, copper, and precious metal apart from steel from all impurities and inorganic elements and often leaves a greater change to the object. Commonly used acids for pickling include hydrochloric and sulfuric acid which is stronger than acids used in passivation.

Passivation, on the other hands, uses either nitric or citric acid which is not acknowledged for being as intense as acids used in pickling. Expert passivation companies do not typically go under the surface of the target object and thus don’t change the innate properties of the metal. The oxide film provided by passivation is merely .0000001 inch thick. Passivation is ideally designed to finish objects made of stainless steel or steel alloys.

Key Benefits

  Corrosion resistance: Develops a passive oxide layer, encourages corrosion resistance and extended the durability of stainless steel.

  Reduced cost: Compared to various anticorrosive procedures, passivation companies offer low-cost services with consistent product finishing.

  Helps in sterilization: A great benefit of passivation is its sterilization power the help medical device manufacturers to enhance product integrity.

  Mild chemical protection: As said above the chemical protection procedure is milder than pickling and ideally best for stainless steel passivation  ( https://www.sun-glo.com/blog/ ).

  Aesthetic Value: Followed by absolute clearance of grease, dirt, and dust particles, its thin film provides a visually appealing product surface.

Demanding Industries

Aerospace, Defense, Medical Devices, Engineering and others.


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