Citric vs Nitric Acid Passivation: Which One Wins?
The question of citric vs nitric acid passivation is one that comes up quite often. RP Abrasives passivates in accordance to ASTM A-967 specifications, which allows for either a nitric acid-based or citric acid-based process. We, however, prefer the use of citric acid.
What's the Difference?
The biggest difference between citric acid and nitric acid is that citric is a natural, biodegradable product, while nitric is a hazardous material. Reports have shown that the cost of citric acid continues to plummet, and at the same time, the cost of purchasing, storing, using, and disposing nitric acid is skyrocketing. In fact, it is estimated that a nitric acid-based process costs up to 50% more than its environmentally friendly alternative.
Why Should You Choose Citric Acid Passivation Over Nitric Acid Passivation?
Besides the obvious safety and “green” factors, there has been much data compiled in the recent past proving the advantages of citric acid passivation. A 2011 study done by the United Space Alliance and sponsored by NASA showed that “the best citric acid treatments provided comparable or better corrosion protection than nitric acid.”
If it's good enough for NASA, it's good enough for us.
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