The influence of electropolishing on the corrosion resistance of 316L stainless steel



A study was conducted which examined the influence of electropolishing on the corrosion resistance of a cold rolled 316L stainless steel. Test specimens were surface prepared to a final mechanical finish of wetted 600 grit SiC paper, prior to electropolishing. An o[BOND]H3PO4/Glycerol/H2O electropolishing solution was employed for times of 15, 20, and 25 min. Control specimens were surface prepared only to the final mechanical finish. Anodic polarization tests were performed in a deaerated Ringer's solution (37°C) which was acidified to pH 1, with HCl. The electropolished specimens demonstrated increased corrosion resistance, when compared to the control specimens. This was evidenced for the former by more anodic corrosion and breakdown potentials, and the absence of a dissolution peak which was observed for the control specimens at the initial polarization potentials. Surface hardness measurements indicated that this increase in corrosion resistance was produced, in part, by the removal of the cold worked surface layer produced by the mechanical finish. In terms of increasing corrosion resistance, no optimum electropolishing time was found within the 15–25 min treatment period.