Everything you need to know about the surface finishes of metals
Metals can have a wide range of surface finishes, which can vary depending on the needs of the project and application. Surface finishes can be performed, for example, to improve the product aesthetics, protect the metal from corrosion or mechanical damage, or to improve the performance of the product and prepare it for subsequent processing.
When it comes to metal surface finishes, it’s important to know, first of all, coatings and treatments. Coatings are typically thin layers of material applied to the surface of metal to improve its aesthetics or corrosion resistance. Treatments, on the other hand, are processes that modify the surface of the metal without adding any coating.
But what are, specifically, the main surface finishing treatments of metals? And how to best perform them? Let’s find out together!
Surface finishes of metals: which are they?
Metals can be subjected to a wide range of coatings and surface treatments. Among the most common treatments we find:
- satin finishing: a process used very often in industrial sectors dealing with metalworking, which allows to homogenize metal surfaces or parts, obtaining a predefined uniform roughness, more marked or less according to the specific needs of use. This type of finish is obtained thanks to the use of special brushes or abrasive belts of various types, depending on the desired result;
- polishing, used for both aesthetic and functional purposes, also carried out using special belts or brushes soaked in abrasive paste. This process makes it possible to significantly reduce the roughness of metals, preparing the surfaces or metal parts for subsequent processing processes or for use in other industrial sectors;
- sanding, a treatment that allows to uniform and smooth metal surfaces, eliminating surface impurities and obtaining a certain roughness, which depends on the cutting speed and the type of abrasive grain used. This process is often used as an intermediate step for the preparation of the metal for subsequent treatments;
dotting, which makes it possible to make the raw material uniform and improve its functional and aesthetic characteristics. Also in this case, depending on the type of brush used, more precise or less results can be obtained;
- lapping, a precision finish that improves and minimizes the roughness of metal surfaces. The process is carried out with special brushes that exploit the action of an abrasive powder sprinkled on a metal support and allows to obtain uniform “mirror” surfaces;
- high gloss finishing, useful for eliminating signs of opacification and oxidation from the metal, giving it shine. The finish is generally performed with special brushes, soaked in a fine abrasive product (called rinse aid), which work directly on the surface. It is a finishing process used in numerous industrial sectors for both aesthetic and functional purposes.
Metal finishing machines: which ones to use to obtain quality results?
To obtain quality results and precise metal surface finishes, specific and high-performance machinery is required, which allow the surfaces of metal materials to be worked at best without ruining or damaging them. Furthermore, all finishing operations must be carried out by competent and expert personnel in the field, in full compliance with the regulations.
Metal finishing machines are machines specially designed to work metal surfaces and are generally classified according to the type of processing they can perform: depending on the type of application and the result to be obtained they can be used for roughing, smoothing, satin, sanding or polish metals.
Volpato machinery: efficient and innovative solutions for metal finishing
Volpato offers a wide range of machinery to best perform metal processing and finishing processes. All the machines proposed are specifically designed to ensure high performance and obtain high quality, professional and precise results. In addition to standard machinery, useful for all metal finishing processes, the company also specializes in the design of tailor-made solutions based on the type of processing to be performed and the customer’s specific requests. In addition, to meet the needs of each company, it also allows the machinery to be tested in advance using the materials usually used within the production cycle.
Are you looking for metal finishing process machinery for your company or business? Contact us! Our staff of experts is always available to advise you on the most suitable solutions for your needs.