Metal finishing is rather prevalent across the board in industrial production. It is increasingly become a standard requirement in many industries such as aerospace, military and automotive manufacturing. The process consists of the application of a thin layer of metal to another surface – usually also metal but can be ceramic or even plastic. This finishing process is performed with such regularity by companies for a simple reason – in order to ensure the surfaces of products are reinforced or enhanced enough to perform their roles as part of the structures and components of our lifestyles. Without the application of finishing treatments, there is little doubt much of our world would literally and figuratively fall apart.
The Purpose of Metal Finishing Processes
In the metal finishing, there are many different treatments available that, essentially, arrive at the same conclusion. They are chosen to meet the requirements of the substrate as well as those of the manufacturer. A few of the advantages that manufacturers realize from using the process include:
1. Increased hardness and durability
2. Corrosion resistance
3. Wear resistance
4. Enhanced electrical conductivity properties
5. Greater electrical resistance
6. Greater chemical resistance
7. Higher resistance to the process of tarnishing
8. Potential for vulcanization – the ability to bond
9. Torque tolerance
12. Enriched decorative appeal
These results can observed by employing one of many approaches to treatment.
Types of Metal Finishing Treatments
In order to arrive at the best finish possible, engineers and technicians work with the manufacturer to discover what method will be the most successful. Those in the metal finishing industry employ various techniques and treatments to clean, etch and cover the surfaces – metallic and non-metallic. The most frequently employed in metal finishing include:
Coatings and platings may use silver, gold, aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, nickel and other metals to cover the surface of the base, basis or substrate metal. They may also be painted (often using a powder coating), lacquered, or given a ceramic coating.
Technically, finishing refers to any type of treatment that changes the surface of the part, components or item in order to produce a specific property. One form of finishing is metal finishing. As a catch-all title for a variety of finishing treatments, metal finishing is performed for one major reason: to ensure the desired qualities are enhanced or introduced to the substrate surface.