Chemical Cleaning and Passivation

As well as welding and fabrication, Orbital Fabrications also has a purpose built wet-bench area which enables us to provide passivation and etching facilities for small batches or large production runs.

These services can be used as part of our production process or as stand alone services to enhance your production processes.


Passivation is the process we use to clean and protect stainless steel after it has been through a mechanical process such as machining or welding. Passivation is the removal of exogenous iron or iron compounds from the surface of stainless steel by means of a chemical dissolution, such as nitric acid, and the spontaneous formation of a protective passive film. In layman terms, passivation removes free-iron from the surface of stainless steel and produces a thin, transparent oxide film, which protects the surface from corrosion.

Chemical Cleaning

This process involves more aggressive chemicals, such as hydrofluoric acid, which the stainless steel product is treated with prior to going through the passivation procedure. Typically we chemically clean welded assemblies where external discolouration of the material’s surface could not be avoided in the welding process.

We also use our wet area to perform a number of other processes such as degreasing, chemically part marking and labelling.

We currently offer our Passivation and Chemical Etching services to the following industries:

  • Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceuticals production
  • Nuclear
  • Process industry
  • Automotive
  • Electronics and semiconductor applications
  • High purity laboratory installations
  • Research laboratories
Orbital Fabrications - Established in 1988