What Is Metal Preparation and Passivation?

Metal Preparation and Passivation 

Stainless steel is undoubtedly one of the world’s most versatile and widely used materials. It’s durable, corrosion-resistant, and has numerous applications across various industries. However, suppose you’re looking to use stainless steel in an application where quality is paramount (such as aerospace or medical equipment). In that case, some essential steps must be taken before any parts can be produced.

To achieve the highest standards of quality and reliability, metal products must undergo a critical surface finishing process known as passivation. This simple process removes contaminants from the surface of metals, typically stainless steel. The purpose of the process is to increase the corrosion resistance of the metal, which is achieved by removing free iron particles and oxides that form on its surface.

Metal passivation can be performed by dipping or spraying a liquid solution onto your product and drying it off with compressed air or nitrogen gas. A final rinse in deionized water completes this important step in your manufacturing process!

Free iron and other contaminants left on the surface of stainless steel will corrode quickly if not removed, leading to fast failure – which can prove disastrous in high-performance applications such as medical instruments, aerospace components, or industrial equipment.

Our automated passivation systems use a nitric or citric acid that removes all free iron and other contaminants from the substrate while maintaining its original integrity. The result is a metal surface with superior corrosion resistance and excellent heat transfer characteristics. Better Engineering’s automated passivation systems are commonly designed as monorail washers, turntable washers, or immersion washers. 

Without passivation, stainless steel cannot deliver the corrosion resistance it optimally provides.

Passivation is a critical step in the manufacturing process of stainless steel and requires an effective automated passivation system. In passivation, contaminants are removed from the surface of metals. These contaminants include carbon and hydrogen, which can increase corrosion resistance by forming protective layers on the metal’s surface. These layers prevent oxygen from reaching the metal and causing corrosion to occur.

Passivation can be accomplished through different methods depending on what product you are producing or what equipment you have available at your facility. Not all passivation processes are created equal; some can take longer than others, while others may not be as effective at removing all contaminants from your steel product.

If you have any questions about how to passivate stainless steel with our products or services, please contact us today!


Passivation is an essential process in the production of stainless steel products. It is important that you understand what passivation means, how it works and how it affects the quality and reliability of your product.



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