Why Electropolish Your Stainless Steel Baskets or Racks?

Industries such as food manufacturing, medical, pharmaceutical, and more must meet strict sanitary standards when it comes to parts and equipment. A major part in ensuring this is choosing the best finishing or coating method for stainless steel baskets and racks used in these applications. Electropolishing is often the best solution, as it enhances the performance of stainless steel while ensuring optimal hygiene.

Electropolishing stainless steel baskets and racks uses an electrical current and a chemical electrolyte bath to remove the outer layer of metal. In doing so, it removes any microscopic flaws and grooves that contaminants and other debris can adhere to during the manufacturing process. This not only creates a smoother surface finish but also makes the baskets and racks easier to clean and sanitize. 

How Does Electropolishing Work?

Electropolished Stainless Steel BasketElectropolishing, also referred to as “reverse plating,” is an electrochemical process that removes material from a metallic workpiece at a controlled rate and with extremely high accuracy. After racking the stainless steel baskets and racks, they are immersed in a temperature-controlled electrolyte bath that is composed of a mixture of phosphoric acid and sulfuric acid. 

Using DC power, the parts are positively charged. The electrolyte serves as a conductor, and the top-most layer of metal dissolves off of the submerged parts’ surface. When the baskets and racks are removed from the bath, they come out clean, passivated, and with a smooth surface that no longer has grooves and blemishes. They then undergo a series of rinses that wash away any residual electrolyte solution. In the final stages of the process, the stainless steel parts are dried and inspected before being sent to their final destination.

Benefits of Electropolishing Stainless Steel

Stainless steel already exhibits great strength and durability, but the electropolishing process improves upon the material in several ways. Specifically, the benefits of electropolishing include:

  • Increased corrosion resistance. Electropolishing enhances stainless steel’s ability to resist corrosion and tarnishing, even in the presence of harsh environments and chemicals. This is a very important trait to have for applications requiring frequent sterilization.
  • Improved surface finish. Electropolishing makes stainless steel appear more shiny and clean. In addition, it increases weldability without sacrificing hardness or causing abrasion or peeling.
  • Reduced product adhesion and ease of cleaning. The improved finish created by electropolishing can lower product adhesion and the buildup of contaminants. Electropolishing also makes it easier and less time-consuming to perform cleaning operations on stainless steel baskets and racks.
  • Deburring. Because the electropolishing process uses an electrical current to dissolve the outermost layer of metal, it simultaneously polishes and deburrs the surface. 
  • Attractive appearance. Electropolishing can make stainless steel baskets and racks appear more lustrous and smooth. Since no tools come into contact with the part surface, there is no risk of creating polishing lines that affect the surface appearance.

Industries That Use Electropolishing

stacking-baskets-with-handles-overlayElectropolished stainless steel baskets and racks are ideal for a wide range of industries, especially those that must adhere to stringent sanitary standards. These industries include:

  • Medical and dental
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Automotive and racing
  • Semiconductor manufacturing
  • Aerospace
  • Appliance manufacturing
  • Food and beverage

Electropolished Stainless Steel Wire Baskets and Racks From Marlin Steel

Marlin Steel is a leading provider of electropolished baskets and racks for use in the medical, pharmaceutical, and research industries, as well as the food and beverage industry. We provide custom electropolished wire baskets, trays, disease control equipment, and food-grade wire baskets that are 100% made in the USA with superior precision. With fast lead times and rapid delivery, you can count on Marlin Steel to deliver the stainless steel wire forms you need, when you need them. 

For more information about our electropolished stainless steel wire baskets and racks, contact us today or request a quote.

Interested in seeing how we form our wires for our stainless steel baskets and other products? Check out our video.