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Virtually every manufacturer of AISI Type 316L stainless steel surgical implants uses electropolishing as a surface finishing procedure, but little research has been devoted to the basic chemistry, techniques, and possible benefits of the process. The electrochemical reactions that take place in the electropolishing cell are discussed, as well as the physical techniques used to electropolish stainless steel. Data on the corrosion resistance of electropolished stainless steel is compared to conventional passivation treatments.
electropolishing, stainless steels, corrosion resistance, oxide layer, implant materials, degradation, fatigue (materials)
President, Digintel, Inc., New York, NY