Metal Finishing Glossary

Pre-plate: Preparation of the surface to be plated to make it as even as possible for final plating. Pre-plating helps enhance the finished part appeal. Below are several of the common pre-plate processes used to prepare surfaces for final plating.

Ball burnishing: A vibratory process to achieve a bright, highly reflective surface. This process the weight and brightness of steel with compounds designed to give a specific color and luster to the final product. This can commonly be described as shine.

Certified shot peening: Shaping sheet metal by bombarding it with a stream of metal shot. This process is used to strengthen parts and relieve stress in those parts.

Glass beading: Fine glass beads are blasted at a surface to remove surface deposits without damaging the surface. It is commonly used to remove calcium deposits and paint.

Descaling: Removal of heavy, tightly adherent oxide films on metal surfaces resulting from hot-forming, heat-treatment, welding, and other high-temperature operations.

Vibratory deburring: This is used to deburr, radius, descale, burnish, clean, and brighten a large number of relatively small parts. This process typically occurs in a tumbler with specially shaped pellets of material, where vibration is used to accomplish this pre-plating surface preparation.

Parts washing: Much like a typical wash, parts washing uses water and a cleaning agent to wash parts before finishing.

Vapor degreasing: This cleaning process involves condensing solvent vapors onto parts. It uses the hot vapors of a chlorinated or fluorinated solvent to remove things like oils, greases, and waxes.

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