If you remember our previous post we mentioned that stainless steel (S.S) is not completely corrosion free and that it should be more rightly called stain-resistant than stain-less. We also mentioned that the corrosion resisting power of S.S can be increased by doing passivation process.
well, what is passivation process anyways?
Passivation is a chemical process that creates a protective layer on the instrument using organic acid (such as nitric or citric) that make the surface less reactive to corrosion causing agents. The cool thing is that this layer is highly resistant and continues to buildup even after the actual passivation process is completed. In fact, given proper reprocessing techniques, the protective layer continues to build up until the end of an instrument’s life. This means that S.S exhibits human-like self healing ability that can help steel remain stain resistant.
For more information and technical description, you can download the ASTM standard that covers this area of manufacturing.