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Stainless Steel Passivation: What It Is & How It’s Done.
By ridgexmetals.com

Stainless Steel Passivation: What It Is & How It’s Done.

Passivation is a process used to enhance not just the longevity but also the corrosion resistance of stainless steel. It is usually performed after fabrication such as grinding and polishing and ensures that the material remains untarnished and corrosion resistant. There are two main types of passivation: mechanical and chemical.

Mechanical Passivation

Mechanical passivation is a process that removes iron particles from the surface of a stainless steel material to prevent it from corroding. It involves abrading the surface material to get rid of any contaminants that may be present. This is done either through mechanical means such as brushing, grinding, and/or polishing or through electrical processes such as electro-polishing.

Chemical Passivation

Chemical passivation involves using chemicals to form an oxide layer on the surface of the stainless steel material to prevent corrosion. This layer helps to repel contamination and also helps to protect the material from rust and staining. Chemical passivation can be done through immersion, dip-tank, or spray applications and involves the use of nitric acid, citric acid, phosphoric acid, or a combination of all three.

Benefits of Stainless Steel Passivation

Passivation provides numerous benefits to stainless steel, such as:

  • Improved corrosion resistance: The oxide layer created by passivation helps to prevent and/or slow down corrosion due to its chemical properties.
  • Aesthetically pleasing: The process also helps to maintain the part or product’s original shine and appearance, making it more aesthetically pleasing.
  • Protection from oxidation: Passivated stainless steel is less prone to corrosion due to its oxidation-resistant layer.
  • Reduced maintenance: Due to its enhanced corrosion resistance, passivated stainless steel requires less frequent maintenance and cleaning.


Passivation is a process used to improve the longevity and corrosion resistance of stainless steel by creating an oxide layer on its surface. It can be done through mechanical or chemical processes, and it offers numerous benefits such as improved corrosion resistance, aesthetics, and protection from oxidation.

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  • 10/01/2023

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