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ChemPolish™ RD-5

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Chemical Polishing 300 Series Stainless Steel

ChemPolish™ (RD-5) is an acidic bath used for cleaning, polishing and passivating 300 Series (austenitic) Stainless Steel to render it suitable for use in extreme environments (such as high vacuum, medical or aerospace applications). ChemPolish™ (RD-5) removes particulate from the surface of stainless steel, and is ideal for preparation for disc drives and medical applications. ChemPolish™ (RD-5) leaves a brilliant, specular, passivated finish, free of etching, hydrogen embrittlement, or halide-induced stress cracking. The surface is cleaned completely of any organic contamination and is free of soluble inorganic residues.

ChemPolish™ is a low-cost alternative to other chemical polish systems for Stainless Steel because of its ease of maintenance, which minimizes expensive additions to the bath.

ChemPolish™ gives maximum brilliance with minimum material loss, a maximum of 0.0001 inch (1/10 mil) per minute, depending on agitation level.

PRE-TREATMENT: ChemPolish™ (RD-5) is preceded by a cleaner, ideally MicroClean™ CM (RD-38), followed by a rinse.

MAKE-UP: ChemPolish™ (RD-5) is used as supplied at 175° ± 5° F (80° ± 3° C) for 1 to 5 minutes (typically).

OPERATION: ChemPolish™ (RD-5) may be used until it is exhausted and then discarded, or it may be replenished with additives, like a plating bath, for lowest cost operation. See "Chemical Control of the ChemPolish™ (RD-5) Bath". Certain alloys (especially high carbon) of Stainless may raise a black smut while being polished. This can be removed by a short (30-180 second) dip in room temperature 50% Nitric acid.

EQUIPMENT: Very ruggedly constructed polypropylene tanks, reinforced for high-temperature use, are required. Teflon or PVDF may be used, but these are usually too costly. Teflon steam coils are the best method of heating the bath. Quartz electrical heaters may also be used. However, some form of mild agitation to keep the solution moving over heaters is recommended. This prevents localized overheating and minimizes brightener decomposition.

DISPOSAL: ChemPolish™ (RD-5) is strongly acidic: used solutions will contain dissolved nickel and chrome metals which will precipitate when neutralized to pH 9.0. Dispose of in accordance with Federal, State and local regulations. Contact your RD Chemical representative for further information.

PACKAGING: ChemPolish™ (RD-5) and the additives for replenishing are available in 15 gallon and 55 gallon poly drums.


Caution should be exercised in handling ChemPolish™ (RD-5) or any of the additives. The ChemPolish™ (RD-5) system is highly acidic and will cause permanent eye damage if contact is made and may cause skin lesions if not washed off promptly. Accordingly, it is important to wear complete eye protection and clothing that is resistant to dilute acids when working with ChemPolish™ (RD-5) or the additives. When the ChemPolish™ (RD-5) bath is in operation, it gives off various oxides of nitrogen and other acidic gases. Therefore, a ventilation system capable of providing an air flow of 75 feet per minute away from the operator is required. This will necessitate between 100 and 800 cubic feet per minute airflow for each lineal foot of operating side of the tank, depending upon the design of tank and ducting. Consult Material Safety Data Sheet for further information.