The Most Common Types Of Metal Finishes

As opposed to plating, metal finishing with brushes is an efficient method for removing surface imperfections. These finishing machines produce a uniform, parallel grain surface texture to smooth out the exterior of a product.

Fremont, CA: Metal finishing is the final stage of the manufacturing process that provides aesthetics as well as environmental protection. It is also used to decrease roughness in parts that must mate or seal beyond the capabilities of machining operations. It also includes descaling, sandblasting, and other methods. In short, a wide range of metal finishing processes are used for a variety of applications.

Types of Metal Finishing

Polishing/Buffing/Honing/Lapping

After machining, these erosive methods are used to smooth out surface roughness in metals. Roughness is measured in micro-inches, with the most precise machining processes (reaming, broaching) producing surface finishes ranging from 16-125-in. Using abrasive wheels or mounted points, precision or fine grinding (see below) can reduce surface roughness to 8-16-in. Abrasive powders are then used in conjunction with leather or felt wheels to polish (1-32-in.) and buff (0.5-16-in.) as needed. Honing and lapping are processes that use abrasive compounds to improve the surface roughness of mating parts by rubbing them against each other or by passing a mating shape through a hollow.

Metal polishing can be done manually or automatically with robotic metal polishing. Because reflected light is scattered less from smoother surfaces, the process that minimizes surface roughness also increases a metal's luster. As a result, these same methods are frequently used to improve surface aesthetics.

Brushing/Cleaning

As opposed to plating, metal finishing with brushes is an efficient method for removing surface imperfections. These finishing machines produce a uniform, parallel grain surface texture to smooth out the exterior of a product. To achieve this effect, an abrasive belt or wire brush is typically used. Furthermore, the belt or brush's singular direction can result in slightly rounded edges perpendicular to the grain.