The last step metal products go through in the manufacturing process is finishing. This provides the aesthetic the manufacturer is looking for, as well as the level of protection the product will need to remain durable and long lasting. It also involves some metal cleaning processes such as deburring and descaling.
From sandblasting to powder coating finishes in Umatilla County, OR, here’s a quick overview of some of the main types of metal finishing so you can determine which will be the best type of finish for your needs:
- Plating: Metal plating involves the use of chemical baths to either coat or alter substrate surfaces with thin metal veneers made of chromium, cadmium, nickel or zinc. Electroplating is a specific type of plating method that creates an electric current to coat the substrate. Metal plating is used to improve the durability, friction and corrosion resistance of a metal product while improving its appearance.
- Grinding: Grinding machines are used to smooth out surfaces with abrasive wheels. There are a few types of grinding machines, each of which has the purpose of reducing roughness that gets left over from the machining to finish off the product before it’s shipped out for delivery. Surface grinders are most common, but you can find specialty grinders for specific types of tools and purposes.
- Vibratory finishing: This type of finishing is used for deburring and removing sharp edges. The machine positions parts inside a drum that gets loaded with a sort of abrasive pellet, and tumbling vibrations are then applied to create a uniform texture. The cycle speed and the magnitude of vibration will be variable to treat wide ranges of product sizes.
- Blasting: Sandblasting finish processes are highly common in industrial settings in Umatilla County, OR, especially for products that will need a uniform matte texture. The process involves shooting sand or other abrasives (like metal pellets or steel shots) onto a substrate at a very high speed to remove material and create a smoother surface. It also helps to clean old surfaces to prepare them for other finishing methods, such as painting or powder coating.
- Powder coating: Speaking of powder coating, this is another common finishing method for metal pieces that involves covering a part with a special powder, and heating it at a high temperature so the powder melts and thoroughly coats the product. This results in a durable surface that is impenetrable by moisture and highly resistant to corrosion and abrasion, meaning it will last long into the future.
- Heat treating: Heat treatment is another important step in metal manufacturing. This process is used to remove residual stresses left behind by the manufacturing process. It also helps to improve some more desirable characteristics in the material, once it’s achieved its finished shape. There are various types of heat treating that can be applied, each of which has its own benefits.
These are just a few examples of some of the most common types of metal finishing. The one you choose will depend on your needs for production speed and cost, and the hardness of the metal you’re using. For more information about powder coating and sandblasting finishes in Umatilla County, OR, contact NW Metal Fabricators Inc.] today.
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