Stainless Steel Passivation: Reasons And Methods


Producing a part from metal does not always result in perfection. Flaws are common. Some parts are fine visually but require improvements. Companies turn to finishing shops to complete the work. While many options remain, for stainless tell, passivation is often a favorite. Metal with a carburized surface is exempt, but all other grades of stainless steel can benefit from a passivating treatment.

What Is Passivation?

Passivation is a treatment process designed to produce a specific result. It involves coating the metal to reduce the chemical activity that takes place on its surface. Stainless steel receives a passivation treatment to address the issue of embedded iron particles. These arise as a by-product of any of several practices including:

 * Forming
 * Grinding
 * Machining
 * Lapping
 * Tumbling

The process accomplishes several beneficial results. It removes the iron particles and excess oils, grease and dirt. By making the surface more “passive,” stainless steel actually becomes more corrosion resistant. Stainless steel passivation even increases the strength and durability of the metal while allowing the metal to retain its finish. In fact, stainless steel that undergoes passivation returns to its original specifications.


Several advantages result from submitting to a passivation treatment. Companies request it for one of several reasons. Among the most common ones are:

 * Improves corrosion resistance
 * Produces uniform finish and a smooth appearance
 * It deburrs the metal leaving a smooth polish
 * Cleans the metal of all contaminants
 * Increases the longevity of the metal

These comprise some of the reasons why companies choose passivation.

Stainless Steel Passivation

Manufacturers who work with stainless steel realize the benefits of a finishing process that involves passivation. A stainless steel passivation treatment offers them a means to preserve the integrity of their metal components while improving such qualities as durability, strength, corrosion resistance and longevity. By choosing passivation, manufacturers are providing their products with the capabilities of surviving their environments.