What is Passivation?

Passivation is an important step in protecting and cleaning parts. Through the passivation phase of cleaning, stainless steel components are stripped of exogenous ferrous material and lightly coated with a protective, or “passive” layer.

Traditionally, this passivation has been accomplished via immersion in nitric acid, a highly effective process yet one which required rigorous safety precautions due to the hazardous nature of nitric acid. Passivation with nitric acid also requires the use of materials that can withstand both contact with the acid and its fumes. Personnel must wear protective gear and follow stringent safety procedures when working with nitric acid.

For many years, these additional steps were seen as simply the cost of doing business to ensure effective passivation of precision components that would otherwise be vulnerable to corrosion and premature wear.

ACT's Solution

ACT offers an alternative passivation process that is just as effective and safer to use. Our citric acid passivation process meets ASTM A380, ASTM A967, and AMS 2700 standards while eliminating the safety precautions required when using nitric acid.

According to ASTM and SAE publication, nitric acid and citric acid are defined as passivation method 1 and method 2 respectively. The conventional use of nitric acid had previously been based on its presumed superior effectiveness in protecting metal components. This has since been proven not to be the case, as studies show in AMS 2700 that citric acid is equally effective.

Your systems can be protected against ferrous material contamination automatically with an ACT solution using a citric acid bath instead of nitric acid. Advantages of using citric acid include:

  • Reduced hazard to personnel
  • Eliminates the need for protective safety gear
  • Reduced risk to components with low tolerance to nitric acid
  • Simplifies room planning, nitric acid fumes won’t threaten nearby systems

The greater risk to personnel and material presented by the use of nitric acid often necessitated outsourcing the passivation process. Passivation with citric acid provides you a safer, less expensive and more environmentally friendly alternative that can be done in-house.

ACT is a worldwide distributor of Citrisurf® products which have been used with great success for many years in ACT systems globally. Contact your ACT representative today to discover how you can save operating expenses and safeguard costly precision components safely and automatically using programmable ACT passivation solutions.

Citrisurf is a registered trademark of Stellar Solutions, Inc.


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