Considerations When Selecting Surface Finishing Processes

When it comes to surface finishing, there is a wide range of different types of processes that can be selected. Some processes are specifically used for particular types of materials and components while others are more general in their use.

Surfacing is typically very different than other types of operations in that there is no change in the component or part except for on the very surface of the item. For this reason, the surface finishing is typically the last step in the individual component production process, although this is not always the case.

For some components or parts surfacing may be more of an aesthetic aspect to create a bright or a matte surface or to even add color through an anodizing process. Additionally, finishing can also be used to create a more durable and stronger surface that is more resilient to wear or that removes even microscopic surface imperfections.

In the past, finishing was typically used only on metal parts and components. Today it may be used with resins, composites, plastics and other types of parts. This means it is required on parts and component used in industries from medical equipment and devices through to pharmaceutical products and automotive parts.

The Cost

One of the most important considerations for large production orders of parts and components is to consider the costs. Larger batch types of finishing such as vibratory finishing can help to reduce costs as the process is completed with a number of parts at one time.

These specialized systems don’t just provide surface finishing for aesthetics, they also deburr, radius, descale and deflash items quickly and efficiently. This can be done to specific tolerances and specifications based on the media used as well as the settings for the process. Amplitude and frequency can be set to provide optimal results with all types of material from metal to plastics.

Understanding of the Material

In many applications and industries new and exotic resins, composites and metal alloys are used because of their strength and durability. This creates difficulties in using standard media and surfactants in the processing of components for many companies.

With experienced, specialized finishing services even these exotic or novel materials can be processed. This provides an OEM with the services needed to market new products and prototypes and to switch into full production quickly, easily and within the specifications and tolerances required in demanding types of applications.

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