The Quick Reference for Types of Metal Finishing

Metal finishing happens as the final step in the manufacturing process.

It provides durability to the metal in the form of higher electrical, chemical and tarnish resistance. It provides aesthetics to metal with a shiny or matte finish, smooths the metal and even enhances electrical conductivity. There are several types of metal finishing that each serve a different purpose.

Microfinish is a leader in the metal finishing industry and our dedicated company is a proud member of the National Association for Surface Finishing (NASF). Our metal finishing services are comprehensive.

Here is a brief look at some types of metal finishing and related processes including how these processes can benefit your parts.

Vibratory Finishing
Vibratory finishing uses machines to deburr (neaten and smooth the rough edges or ridges) as well as descale, clean, brighten and more Parts are positioned inside of a drum filled with an abrasive material and the tumbling vibration results in a uniform texture. The machines speed and vibration magnitude can be tuned to allow for effective finishing for many part sizes.

Burnishing is a metal finishing method of polishing the surface through compression as opposed to removing material. This method can increase harness and achieve a mirror like quality finish. Burnishing is usually used to increase the lubricity of finished parts or for a pre-plated finish to enhance the luster of a part after plating.

Raduising is a finishing industry term that refers to a more aggressive removal or rounding of sharp edges than offered by deburring. Radiusing is the preferred metal finishing procedure as it addresses potential problems like parts getting stuck or catching on other parts, which after assembly, can cause a completed product to malfunction

Descaling is a process to clean metal that removes surface deposits on metals to provide a smooth surface finish. Scales form on the metal’s surface during heat treatment. Oxide scales will discolor metal surfaces and directly impact subsequent metal finishing procedures. Descaling prepares metal for further finishing techniques.

Basically, descaling is designed to remove heat scale and improve the surface finish of the manufactured product.

Powder Coating
Powder Coating is a metal finishing process that uses an electric charge that causes a dry powder to fuse to the surface of the metal. Parts are then baked in a curing oven to achieve a smooth and uniform coating. This creates a hard finish in a variety of colors that is tougher than conventional paint. Microfinish is a leader in powder coating, utilizing the latest technology and top-of-the-line equipment to achieve durable and beautiful finishes.

Metal plating uses chemical coat and/or alter a surface with thin layers of metal such as including zinc, nickel, cadmium, or chromium. Electroplating generates an electric current to coat the substrate. Electroless plating utilizes an autocatalytic process where the substrate catalyzes the reaction. Metal plating can improve durability and corrosion resistance, alter surface friction and enhance exterior appearance. Metal plating is usually a large scale process and chemically intensive. Microfinish is proud to offer professional and award winning specialty plating services.

Microfinish has been finishing metal for well over half a century. Our dedication to excellence is reflected in our award winning service and several repeat customers. We can assist you any size finishing job. See what our hard-working St. Louis metal finishing team can accomplish for your parts with the quality and perfection that comes with over 60 years of experience. Call us today for more information at (314) 849-8181.

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