Precision machined components play a crucial role in various industries, where accuracy, quality, and functionality are of utmost importance. To maximize the performance and durability of these components, additional finishing services are often employed. In this article, we will explore some common finishing services that can be used for precision machined components.
Deburring is a critical finishing process that involves the removal of burrs, sharp edges, and imperfections from precision machined components. Burrs can form during the machining process and can affect the component’s functionality, safety, or aesthetic appeal. Deburring techniques can include manual deburring, abrasive blasting, tumbling, or the use of specialized tools. Deburring not only enhances the overall quality of the component but also ensures compliance with industry standards.
Polishing is a finishing process that aims to create a smooth and visually appealing surface on precision machined components. It involves the use of abrasives, polishing compounds, or mechanical polishing techniques to remove imperfections, scratches, or surface irregularities. Polishing enhances the component’s appearance, reduces friction, and can be essential in applications where aesthetics and smooth operation are desired.
Sometimes a machined component straight out of the CNC or miller isn’t enough and it must undergo additional finishing to bring it up your expectations. This is where you can use surface grinding.
For instance, after machining, some materials are left with a coarse surface that needs to be smoother in order to be fully operational. This is where grinding comes in. Using an abrasive surface to take make materials smoother and more accurate, a grinding wheel can remove up to around 0.5mm of material from the part’s surface and is a great solution to highly finished precision machined component.
Plating is a widely used finishing service for precision machined components. It involves depositing a layer of metal onto the component’s surface, typically using processes like electroplating or electroless plating. Common plating materials include nickel, chrome, zinc, and gold. Plating offers benefits such as improved corrosion resistance, enhanced wear resistance, and enhanced aesthetics. It can also provide a base for further coatings or ensure compatibility with specific environmental conditions.
Coating is a versatile finishing service that involves applying a thin layer of material onto the surface of precision machined components. Various coating options are available, such as powder coating, ceramic coating, PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition), or DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) coating. Coatings can provide benefits such as increased hardness, improved wear resistance, chemical resistance, or thermal insulation properties. Additionally, specialized coatings like lubricious coatings can reduce friction and improve the performance of moving parts.
Shot blasting can be described as ‘engineering jet washing’. Used to remove dirt and mill scale from machined components, shot blasting is a cleaning process in which spheres of material are propelled towards components to clean the surfaces.
If not shot blasted, machined components could be left with any number of unwanted debris which not only leave a poor aesthetic but could affect any fabrication such as welding causing headaches further down the manufacturing process.
It is a process used to coat a machined component with a layer of metal, using an electrical current. Widely used to improve surface qualities, it offers improved appearance, corrosion and abrasion resistance, lubricity, electrical conductivity and reflectivity, depending on the substrate and the plating material choice.
There are two general ways of electroplating machined components, depending on the size and geometry of the part: barrel plating (where the parts are put in a rotating barrel filled with the chemical bath) and rack plating (where the parts are attached to a metal rack and the rack is then dipped in the chemical bath). Barrel plating is used for small parts with simple geometries, and rack plating is used for larger parts with complex geometries.
Anodizing is a specific finishing service used for precision machined components made from aluminum or its alloys. It is an electrochemical process that creates a protective oxide layer on the component’s surface. Anodizing enhances corrosion resistance, improves surface hardness, and can offer opportunities for coloring or dyeing the components. Anodized precision machined components are commonly used in industries where durability and aesthetics are crucial, such as aerospace and automotive.