Electropolishing is an electrochemical finishing process that removes a thin layer of material from a metal parts, typically stainless steel or other alloys. The process leaves a shiny, smooth, ultra-clean surface finish. It can be thought of as reverse electroplating. Instead of adding a thin coating of positively-charged metal ions, electropolishing uses electric current to dissolve a thin layer of metal ions into an electrolyte solution. 

Since the 1950s, scientists have commercially used the combination of electricity and chemicals to improve the surface finish of metals. It is a common finishing procedure across a wide variety of industries, including the following:

Examples of metal parts commonly electropolished:

Metals compatible with electropolishing include: The amount of material that is removed by electropolish systems is directly proportional to the run time / cycle time and the amp-minutes that pass through the surface area of the part. All of these variables can be controlled to create a consistent, reliably controlled surface finish. Material removal is commonly only 0.0003″ to 0.0007″ for most deburring and polishing applications after machining. With precise monitoring, electropolishing can remove as little as 0.0001″. For an electropolishing process with longer cycle time and amp-minutes, as much as 0.003″ to 0.005″ of material may be removed.

Benefits of Electropolishing

Benefit Description
Decorative appearance The bright and shiny finish, often highly reflective, is aesthetically pleasing and has a uniform luster, without the fine lines that occur with abrasive polishing.
Microscopic smoothness Levels peaks and valleys and provides up to 50% improvement in surface roughness (Ra). Unlike mechanical finishing, electropolishing does not smear, bend, stress or fracture the crystalline metal surface.
Deburring On a microscopic level, electropolishing removes small pieces of displaced surface material that can snag and break.
Ultra-clean finish Creates a clean surface that is easier to sterilize. Removes embedded contaminants that can lead to corrosion.
Removes surface defects Increases operational life by removing fissures and cracks from the surface, thus eliminating sites where corrosion can take hold. Helps parts that need to flex and bend to last longer.
Reduces friction Prolongs life of parts in constant motion. Reduces galling on threaded parts, improving sealing.
Eliminates oxide scale Removes discoloration from heat tint and oxide scale.
Good for fragile parts Works on delicate parts that might be damaged in a tumbling process. Can replace some mechanical finishing techniques such as grinding, buffing, milling and blasting.
Good for complex parts Can polish areas that are inaccessible by other polishing methods without causing damage. Effectively treats tiny surfaces on complex components.
Size control Can be used to slightly reduce size of parts if necessary.


The places below were found at random with google searches. Try your own to find
an expert closer to your home.
GERMANY Fuchs rims
UNITED STATES Able Electropolishing
CANADA Chilco Electropolishing Inc