Why the Stainless Steel Finish is Essential

by Carmen Raymond

Stainless steel sterilization baskets require a proper finish to increase the basket's versatility. The correct finish of stainless steel enhances it chemical resistance, handling characteristics and other key operational features. Let's take a look at the two most common finishes for stainless steel.


Passivation is a corrosion-prevention treatment of stainless steel. This chemical process involves removing free iron from the metal's surface with citric acid or nitric acid. The process of passivation creates a thick protective oxide coating on the stainless steel, which makes it resistant to corrosive chemicals.

The process of passivation cleans the stainless steel surface, removing all grease, oils and dirt. This results in a uniform, smooth appearance and finish.

A smooth passivation finish minimizes the chance of rust damage of your sterilization basket, surgical instrument or stainless steel product. It also eliminates extra maintenance steps to protect your investments.


Electropolishing is a method of dissolving the surface layer of a substance using a temperature-controlled electrolyte bath and an electric current. Stainless steel has a smooth, featureless surface after it is electropolished.

The process of electropolishing removes all the microscopic debris and defects that would usually adhere to the surface of the steel, and it leaves the material with a smooth, non-stick finish.

Electropolishing improves "weldability" without compromising the surface's hardness or causing peeling or abrading. It also creates a smooth surface that prevents pollutants from hiding in microscopic pits.

By removing sharp edges and burrs created by welds or other metal forming processes, electropolishing makes equipment safer for manual use. In any application, an electropolished finish reduces minor injuries, as well as the risk of infection from open cuts.


When choosing sterilization baskets, consider the benefits of a proper finish. Both passivation and electropolishing make your surgical instrument baskets safer and easier to use and ensure a longer life of the product.


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