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Surface Treatments for Stainless Steel and Incoloy® Elements and Other Wetted Parts to Improve Corrosion Resistance Flanged immersion heater surfaces in contact with the material being heated can be passivated or electro-polished to improve their resistance to corrosion. Passivation removes surface contamination, usually iron, so that the optimum corrosion resistance of the stainless steel is maintained. Surface contamination would come from the small amount of steel that may be worn off a tool during the manufacturing process. Passivating is accomplished by dipping the heater in a warm solution of nitric acid. Electro-Polishing is an electrochemical process that removes surface imperfections and contaminants, enhancing the corrosion resisting ability of the stainless steels. The resultant surface is clean, smooth and bright. Many medical and food applications require this finish.