A chemically applied surface treatment for improved protection

Passivation removes surface impurities that cause corrosion and promote friction-related damage in stainless steel. When applied with the skill and expertise of Electro-Coatings professionals, the result is a protective film that won't create a variation in stainless steel component tolerances.

Passivation removes the surface contamination created when stainless steel is machined and fabricated. These contaminants can result in premature corrosion, ultimately damaging the component. In addition to surface cleaning, passivation forms a thin, transparent oxide coating that fights selective oxidation.

passavation of parts

Passivation Process

Passivation at Electro-Coatings is accomplished in two fundamental steps:

  • A thorough cleaning cycle- This cleaning removes oils, greases, forming compounds, lubricants, coolants, cutting fluids and other undesirable organic and metallic residue. General degreasing and cleaning can be accomplished in many ways, including vapor degreasing, solvent cleaning and alkaline soaking
  • A nitric acid bath- Concentration levels in the 20% to 50% range by volume, with typical immersion times between 20 min and two hours. Bath temperatures range between room temperature and 160°F.

Factors In Effective Passivation

Careful process control is essential for the application of a quality passivation coating. A range of variables are factored into the calculations:

  • Bath control (time, temperature and concentration)
  • Water purity
  • Adjustment of bath solution to the stainless steel type
  • Chemical maintenance through the passivation process

A failure in process control can mean extreme pitting, etching, or even catastrophic failure and total dissolution of the entire component.


We understand that every application is unique. Let us work with you to match the precise challenges you face. Custom tanks may be constructed and other options are available.

Standard capacities:
  • Berkeley, CA: up to 40 ft long pipe with existing tanks. 
  • Cedar Rapids, IA: tanks with a 5' x 5' x 10' vertically oriented envelope.
  • Houston, TX. Please contact us to discuss your specific needs.

The skilled technologists at Electro-Coatings are masters of passivation process control, thanks to the latest in processing technology, extensive experience and a Yes, We Can attitude toward industry's most challenging applications.

For more info on the benefits of passivation, along with advice on other world-class coating solutions, contact an Electro-Coatings customer service representative here.