Stainless steel is not always as stainless as one would think. When the coating of a piece is damaged, for example if contaminated with iron / welding / torch cutting / work with a grinder, etc., that stainless steel piece’s resistance to corrosion is no longer guaranteed. To restore the anticorrosive properties to the damaged coating, Industry Geel uses a particular technique called “pickling by immersion.” When the piece to be treated is ready, it is immersed in an acid bath for several hours to remove a few microns of impure material, in a process called “pickling.” The basic material is then comes out again without any deterioration or contamination. After this acid treatment, the piece is rinsed with water on all its facets to be restored bare in the atmosphere again. “Passivation,” a totally passive state, is obtained after 24 hours.
Only a few persons in the Industry Geel BU are trained to perform this work. Given the properties of acid, the “pickler” always wears protective gear from head to toe, to minimise the risk of burns and irritation of the skin, eyes, etc.
At SPIE, safety is priority number 1.
The content of the acid bath is renewed entirely every 2 year. “This is done in an ecological manner nowadays. The pickling product and residues are withdrawn and totally destroyed to minimise their impact on nature and the environment. As a Class 1 company, we comply with all the standards and requirements on the matter.”
The Geel pickling bath is one of the largest in Belgium and other welding workshops call on its services to confer stainless properties on their materials.