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Stainless steel cleaning methods

Stainless steel cleaning methods

Stainless steel cleaning methods

Hello everyone!

New to the tips site so here goes the first question for the census.

Thanks in advance for all help offered and proven solutions.

We're a specialty chemical manufacturing facility in the South. We've got a few receivers, about 1250 gals in size, that have been in our plant for a number of years. Quite a few are being pulled for service in another expansion and are in our boneyard waiting for installation. While there we'd like to clean them up. Does anyone know or have any suggestions or techniques that will do a good job restoring the exterior surface?
Rust stains and various chemical stains are numerous.

Appreciate the help!!


RE: Stainless steel cleaning methods

My first suggestion would be a >stainless steel< wire brush in an angle grinder.
... with a full complement of PPE, including leather gloves, goggles, face shield, and toxic dust respirator, at least.
... or maybe contract an outfit like Dustless Blasting.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Stainless steel cleaning methods

Thanks Mike. There is an outfit in North Chas. here that may provide that service (Dustless Blasting) Chesco. I'm waiting for a return call. That seems to be the way to go.

Wade P.
Elgin, SC

RE: Stainless steel cleaning methods

Use high pressure water first, then a light blasting (dustless works).
In the end to restore optimal corrosion resistance you need to remove any residual metal particles or dust.
This process is called passivation and it is typically done with acids.
Nitric is fast and good, but a pain to handle. There is a product called CitriSurf that is citric acid based.
You don't have to fill them or anything, there are surface wash methods used that work.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, Plymouth Tube

RE: Stainless steel cleaning methods

Thanks Ed! I'll look into that CitriSurf. We've had some Citric Acid here (anhydrous) before. We haven't used it in this fashion but I agree Nitric is tough to deal with.

Your comments are very appreciated.


RE: Stainless steel cleaning methods

You can also try electrical passivation , there are machines made originally for removing weld stain that use Phosphoric acid, a low voltage and a felt or fiberglass pad soaked in Phosphoric acid, These will remove stubborn local stains caused by iron contamination or where weld blue was never removed. For large areas I recommend pickling paste or citric acid.

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