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January 22, 2020

Everything You Need to Know about Metal Finishing



You will be faced with a wide array of options when it comes to completing a metal processing project. So, when it is time to add those all-important finishing touches to the product, what do you need to consider - and what exactly are the different options available to you? Here is everything you need to know.



Before you proceed

There is an imperative step to follow before you decide on which metal finishing option you want to embrace. Deburring and edge rounding, of course! A sheet metal part that features deep burrs or sharp edges could lead to a number of problems further down the line, as well as alter the quality of the product in general. As such, it is important to tackle these surface issues with the help of a type of machinery that handles simultaneous deburring and edge rounding for exceptional and consistent results. Only once this step has been successfully completed can you move on to making those special finishing touches.

Powder coating

If it is important that the product is visually pleasing, powder coating is a great metal finish to consider. It boasts an improved longevity when compared to regular paint due to the fact that it is twice as thick. Furthermore, it can be applied to metal in different colors and textures. The process of powder coating involves melting dry plastic powder and then applying it to the relevant surface.

Anodizing

Anodizing is a finishing technique that you would use if you needed to convert the surface of a part made out of aluminum to aluminum oxide. It is a finishing option that promises numerous advantages including maximum resistance to corrosion and improved durability. An anodized finish is most commonly colorless, although dyes can be utilized to enhance aesthetic attractiveness if necessary.

Metal plating

Metal plating takes place when metal workers make use of machinery in order to apply a thin layer of a specific material over the surface of the product. This material may be anything from copper to chromium and results in enhanced corrosion resistance and strength, and makes it easier for paint to be applied thereafter.

Sand blasting

Sand blasting is a metal finish that promises the smoothest surface result of all. The process involves spraying sand at a high speed onto the surface of the product which ultimately smooths it out and cleans it at the same time. This can lead to substantial savings when it comes to both cost and time. The end result is colorless, but sand blasting is often a technique used ahead of metal plating or painting to allow for improved adhesion and longevity.

Galvanizing

Galvanizing a surface is done purely to aid in protecting it from various elements and from general wear and tear. It is a fast and effective process that involves dipping the product into a molten zinc bath. The zinc coats the product and hardens to create a strong, protective seal within a period of 24 hours. It is often selected as a go-to metal finish because it is substantially cheaper, less time-consuming, and strong than many other finishing options.

Ultimately, the metal finishing alternative you select will depend on your specific product, your goals (visually appealing, durable, corrosion-resistant etc.), your budget, and, of course, your personal preferences. A good quality metal processing company will be able to advise you in terms of which metal finish is best suited to your needs. In many cases, it is a matter of trial and error before finding the finish that is ideal for the job.



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