Pickling and Passivation Stainless Steel – WHY?

Importance of Stainless Steel Pickling and Passivation

VK - Pickling and Passivation Gel Chemicals for Stainless Steel

Pickling and Passivation process removes free iron contamination left behind on the surface of the stainless steel from machining and fabricating. These contaminants are potential corrosion sites that result in premature corrosion and ultimately result in deterioration of the component if not removed.In addition, the passivation process facilitates the formation of a thin, transparent oxide film that protects the stainless steel from selective oxidation ( corrosion ).

The failure of stainless steel components due to corrosion can reach catastrophic proportions. The cost in time, materials, rectification and lost production can be tremendous. If passivation is not carried out stainless steel can rust due to surface free iron, and since chlorides are also often absorbed from the atmosphere, some ferric chloride will be produced. Prolonged contact with ferric chloride will eventually initiate pitting and crevice corrosion on the stainless steel surface. Proper passivation will assist in the optimal restoration of the chrome oxide passive layer.

Any mechanical treatment damages top protective chromium oxide layer of stainless steel components. It damages by,

  • Ferritic contamination matter.
  • Structural changes in top layers of stainless steel.
  • Inbuilt stress development.
  • Chromium content reduction on top layer of stainless steel.

Even high temperature applications like welding & annealing makes surface of stainless steel discoloured and oxide scally. This makes value of stainless steel to reduce not only by appearance but also with lower corrosion resistance due to ferric oxide. Due to these contaminations protective layer of chromium oxide can not form at that spot and corrosive stain builds up on insufficiently passivated stainless steel.

Properly pickled & passivated stainless steel and welding seams offers following qualities,

  1. Smooth surface, which is metallically pure & free from any discolouration and scale.
  2. High level of corrosion resistance of the Stainless Steel component.
  3. Good appearance.

VK products are Tested & Approved by IIT Bombay under ASTM A380 / A967 standards

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