Common sense ought to tell you that you don’t want contaminants in your steel—even if you don’t know anything about steel production, the word “contaminant” should set off alarm bells in your head!
But what exactly does it mean to have contaminated steel, and how do we remove steel contaminants in Gastonia, NC? Read on to learn more about the problems that steel contaminants can pose, and about the four most common methods of steel cleaning.
Why worry about contaminants?
There are a few different reasons why we want to ensure that our steel is never contaminated.
For one thing, contaminated steel doesn’t have the same smooth, flawless appearance that you’ve probably come to associate with steel. Contaminated steel will rust quickly, making the steel look old and shoddy. And if you’ve been promised stainless steel, then obviously you’ll be upset to see rust on a material that’s sold as being rust free!
But there’s another reason not to let contaminants stay on steel—and this one is even more serious. Steel and other metals are often used to store chemicals and other sensitive materials. Steel is chosen for this purpose because it’s supposed to be completely pure. But if it’s contaminated, it could mix poorly with those chemicals.
Fortunately, there are a range of simple ways to rid steel of problematic contaminants.
Four ways to remove steel contaminants
There are four common steel cleaning methods that can be used to remove steel contaminants in Gastonia, NC.
First, we have chemical cleaning. This is just what it sounds like: using cleaning products, particularly citrus-based ones, to remove steel contaminants. This isn’t the most popular form of steel cleaning, because there is a danger that the cleaning products themselves could allow for bacteria to grow on the steel.
Next, there’s oxidation. This is achieved by using a type of heat treatment to return the steel to its pure state. However, this isn’t the best option for all steel pieces—particularly different small machine parts.
Pickling is another option. The most common form of steel cleaning, this involves submerging the steel in acidic liquids—yes, just like a pickle you’d put on a sandwich—until the contaminants are removed and just the steel remains. If you’ve ever cleaned an old, dirty penny using vinegar, then you know how easy and effective the pickling process can be.
Finally, we have electropolishing. This involves using heavy machinery to remove any contaminants that appear on the surface of the steel.
Whichever steel cleaning method you use in Gastonia, NC, what’s most important is that you are exact in your measurements and processes, so you can remove the contaminants without damaging the steel.
Here at J.F. Heat Treating Inc., we are dedicated to delivering the best possible product to our customers—and that means ensuring all steel products are completely free of any and all contaminants.
Fortunately, we have a mastery of removing steel contaminants, built on years of training and experience. When you work with J.F. Heat Treating Inc., you can rest assured that your steel will be clean and pure!