Cleaning, Descaling, and Passivation of Stainless Steel This standard is issued under the fixed designation A; the number immediately. Pickling, passivation and removing iron contamination with nitric acid ASTM A – Practice for Cleaning, Descaling and Passivating of Stainless Steel Parts, . Passivation per ASTM A Posted on November 29, Latest News. APT to Exhibit at SHOT Show in Las Vegas, NV. Advanced Plating.

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Historical Version s – view previous versions of standard. This practice covers the standard recommendations and precautions for cleaning, descaling, and passivating of new stainless steel parts, assemblies, equipment, and installed systems.

Consideration shall be given in the design of parts, equipment, and systems that will require cleaning to minimize the presence of atm in which dirt, or cleaning solutions might become trapped, and to provide for effective circulation and removal of cleaning solutions. Materials shall be precleaned. Scales shall be removed through chemical passivwtion, acid pickling, and mechanical descaling.

Degreasing and general cleaning shall be accomplished by immersion in, swabbing with, or spraying with alkaline, emulsion, chelate, acid, solvent, or detergent cleaners or a combination of these; by vapor degreasing; by ultrasonics using various cleaners; by steam, with or without a cleaner; or by high-pressure water-jetting. Recommended cleaning practices shall be followed for welds and weld-joint areas, specially critical applications, installed systems and post-erections.

ASTM A – Stainless Steel Passivation by Keystone Finishing

The following shall be used as the basis for cleanness acceptability: Visual inspection; wipe tests; residual pattern; water-break test; free iron psasivation such as water-wetting or drying; high-humidity test; and copper sulfate test. Precision inspection shall be performed by solvent-ring test, black light inspection, atomizer test, and ferroxyl test.

Precaution shall always be practiced to minimize iron contamination, in reuse of cleaning and pickling solution, in water rinsing, in circulation of cleaning solutions and rinse water, in protection of cleaned surfaces, for safety, and disposal of used solutions and water. This abstract is a brief summary of the referenced standard.

Article: Passivation of stainless steels

It passivaation informational only and not an official part of the standard; the full text of the standard itself must be referred to for its use and application. ASTM does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents of this abstract are passivatino, complete or up to date. These recommendations are presented as procedures for guidance when it is recognized that for a particular service it is desired to remove surface contaminants that may impair the normal corrosion resistance, or result in the later contamination of the particular stainless steel grade, or cause product contamination.


The selection of procedures from this practice to be applied to the parts may be specified upon agreement between the supplier and the purchaser. For certain exceptional applications, additional requirements which are not covered by this practice may be specified upon agreement between the supplier and the purchaser.


Although they apply primarily to materials in the composition ranges of the austenitic, ferritic, martensitic, and ;assivation stainless steels, the practices described may also be useful for cleaning other metals if due consideration is given to corrosion and possible metallurgical effects. In order a80 avoid ambiguity in the setting of requirements, it may be necessary for the purchaser to define precisely the intended meaning of passivation.

Aastm of the various meanings associated with the term passivation that are in common usage include the following:. It was at one time considered that an oxidizing treatment was necessary to establish this passive metal oxide film, but it is now accepted that this film will form spontaneously in an oxygen-containing environment providing that the surface has been thoroughly cleaned or descaled.

This process is described in a general way a308 6. Unless otherwise specified, it is this definition of passivation that is taken as the meaning of a specified requirement for passivation. Such chemical treatment is generally not necessary for the formation of the passive metal oxide film.

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Depending on the application, chemical passivatuon acid pickling as described in 5. On the other hand, some of the practices may be applicable for these purposes.

While the practice provides recommendations and information concerning the use of acids and other cleaning and descaling agents, it cannot encompass detailed cleaning procedures for specific types of equipment or installations.


It therefore in no way precludes the necessity for careful planning and judgment in the selection and implementation of passivatin procedures. The degree of cleanness required on a surface depends on the application.

In some cases, no more than degreasing or removal of gross contamination is necessary. Others, such as food-handling, pharmaceutical, aerospace, and certain nuclear applications, may require extremely high levels of cleanness, including removal of all detectable residual chemical films and contaminants that are invisible to ordinary inspection methods.

Meaningful tests to establish the degree of cleanness of a surface are few, and those are often aetm to administer and to evaluate objectively. Visual inspection is suitable for the detection of gross contamination, scale, rust, and particulates, but may not reveal the presence of thin films of oil or residual chemical films.

Passivation of 316L SS per ASTM A380

In addition, visual inspection of internal surfaces is often impossible because of the asmt of the item. Methods are described for the detection of free iron and transparent chemical and oily deposits.

Tests with acceptance criteria to demonstrate that the passivation procedures have been successful are listed in 7. The values stated in each system may oassivation be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other.

Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standard. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

For more specific safety precautions see 7. Referenced Documents purchase separately The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard. Some of the various meanings associated with the term passivation that are in common usage include the following: Link to Active This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.