Passivation is the process by which a stainless steel will spontaneously form a chemically inactive surface when exposed to air or other oxygen-containing environments. The 300 series stainless steel alloys are generally preferred for passivation, as some of the 400 series alloys aren’t the best candidates for the passivation process. It is critical when making assemblies that will need passivated; that all component parts be made of the same alloy; different alloys may be indistinguishable before passivation, but may have a different appearance afterward. Different passivation solutions may not only result in differences in appearance, but may result in some parts being destroyed.
Passivation of stainless steel is generally specified by QQ-P-35. It can also be specified by ASTM-380-13, ASTM-967-13 and AMS2700 Rev. E.
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