What is it
From the moment an item comes off of the assembly line, it will more than likely carry imperfections from dents, scratches, abrasions or hold sticky impurities like grease etc. These need externally purifying for the perfect outcome of the part created.
These parts can be visually on display and need to be sterile like hospital utensils or they can be designed to be a hidden part of a larger design, like a piston in an engine that cannot carry any impurities. Metal finishing is a manditory part of the manufacturing of these products.
Methods of metal finishing
We have all encountered products in our everyday lives that have been used by these methods hundreds of times a day and not even realise the methods that that have gone into the metal finishing techniques.
- Plating – where a fine layer is added to the product. One major item would be jewellery or gold plated wiring. This can be for durability and longevity, cosmetic values or even conductivity.
- Hard Grinding – This would usually involve a rotary stone or metal disk that rotates at high revs. The product would be grind against the disk to remove layers from the product. Typical uses for this would be to remove rust factors from a product.
- Abrasive or hard brush – items where a brush will grain down a product to a smoother finish that what was created in the original factory. Bicycles, lawnmower blades, laptop chassis’. The list is endless to what you would pass on a daily basis.
- Buffing or soft brush – The metal finishing here would be a soft material on a rotary apparatus to give an absolute smooth finish. Imagine if you will, a small example of this would be a car bodywork repairer. After the hard abrasion has taken place to remove the impurity, being the paint. The texture is rough and contains scratches and other non level impurities. The soft buffing still removes layers from the metal but at absolute microscopic level. This technique wares the metal abrasions down until the metal is smooth as glass.
- Vibratory Polishing – As one of the many major services we offer, vibratory (vibro) finishing is a technique to deburr products and remove impurities or smooth down sharp edges.
The method of choice
This will depend on the business costs and needs. The costs can vary greatly depending on the size, weight, quantity, requirements, end results, etc. of the product. Many factors weigh up against many different variables .
For more information on the techniques we supply for metal finishing techniques click here.
Written by Lee from ACOIT who specialise in IT Consultancy