What is the satin finishing process for and how it takes place


The metalworking industry includes many different realities, from the large metallurgical industry, where many of the processes are automated, to the small artisan reality. The processing phases are also very different, ranging from the raw material to the semi-finished product up to the finished or almost completed product. A fundamental operation in many different metal processing activities is the satin finishing. This must be characterized by the utmost precision and attention, because it can have a significant influence on the result, above all aesthetic but not only, of the finished product.


This kind of finishing has in fact several applications. In fact, it’s used to give the metal details their characteristic opaque appearance. This result obviously has an aesthetic function – it is particularly elegant and refined, much more than the raw metal. But the satin finish can also have practical and functional purposes. Just think of those who use metal tools or tables for work – such as surgeons, chefs, or the food industry. The satin finish makes the surfaces opaque so that the lights do not cause annoying reflections; moreover, they reduce the roughness of the raw material, reducing the risk of the appearance of bacteria and germs.


But what is the satin finish?

It’s a rather complex and delicate operation, if you want obtain a quality result, and start the process that will lead to the finished product in the best possible way. Fundamental for anyone who works metal, it’s a surface treatment process that homogenizes the metals, bringing them, according to the different production needs, to a uniform and predefined roughness. It is a precision finishing that must be made with high performance machinery; in fact, it often serves to cover any surface defects in the metal, or the marks left by previous processes.


The satin finishing is generally performed after other processes, such as bending and welding other metal elements together. It is therefore also used to cover the welds, for example before painting or polishing – or even simply to leave a nice matte effect. The satin finishing performed with belts, or abrasive wheels and flap wheels (in various abrasive materials of different grains) removes the welds so that they are visually perfect and “stuck”, making them homogeneous but robust.


What is it about?

This finishing is obtained by means of special abrasive belts or abrasive brushes of different features (including three-dimensional abrasives, such as bear-tex, scotch-brite or surface conditioning), which have different grains and formats because the levels of satin finishing can be of very varied intensity.


Metals, and in general the steel to which this operation is often addressed, are very hard and resistant materials, which require careful and specific processing. The satin finish is a specific surface finishing treatment of metals which, as mentioned, is achieved through the use of abrasive belts. In fact, the satin finishing machines, by means of special rotating brushes, are able to:

  • knock down the cutting wire that derives from previous processes (precisely bending, or welding);
  • eliminate the oxidation of the metal due to laser cutting.


Subsequent processing

Once the polishing process is finished, you can move on to all the subsequent metal processing phases (for example steel) which will lead from the raw material to the semi-finished or finished product. One of these is for example polishing, which serves to further refine the piece so that it is perfectly polished, further reducing the roughness of the metal and obtaining a different aesthetic effect compared to satin / matt.