Metal finishing: What is the process like?

by norwegianprototypes
How metal finishing works

Metal finishing refers to the final phase of the metal fabrication process; this phase involves the use of a metal finishing machine in finessing the surface of the metal. The purpose of od metal finishing is to give the metal a smooth and well-shaped exterior. Some of the materials used in achieving this procedure include plating, loose abrasives, and tumbling media.

Various machines are adopted in metal finishing, and these machines vary in efficiency and capability. Often, the effectiveness of the machine is mostly dependent on the calibration of the machine. This article highlights some of the essential finishing machines as well as the unique qualities of each machine.

How metal finishing works

Barrel finishing machine

This type of finishing machine is so named because they use barrels to good effect during the finishing process. The machine usually possesses an 8-sided drum that rotates continuously; these drums allow metals to be rounded or surface treated. Abrasives, lubricating agents, and tumbler media are also injected into the barrel drum to generate the necessary amount of friction for surface finishing. Barrel finishing employs two processes in its operations; they are dry tumblers and wet tumblers. Each tumbler type has its unique application and capabilities; dry tumblers are useful in all the phases of the finishing operation while wet tumblers are more suitable for the removal of excess stock.

Vibratory finishing machine

This type of finishing machine employs the use of high-frequency vibrations in creating the desired surface on the exterior of the metal. The machine encloses the metal in intense frequency motion that could go as high as 1800 vibrations per second. The machine is especially suited to applying smooth surface finish to metals with deep vanities. The polish rate of this machine is topnotch, and it is capable of providing finishes to a variety of products in real-time.

How metal finishing works


Sandblasting is quite popular for metal finishing due to its capability to clean and smoothen the metal at once. The machine does the cleaning and finishing by injecting abrasion agents like sand particles or metal pellets into the setup at a very rapid speed. The level of finishing is dependent on the speed of the abrasion particle, as well as the angle of the fire set up and the duration of the entire cleaning phase.

Plating machine

This type of finishing machine works by placing a layer of plating over the material’s surface. In most cases, the plating material possesses a desirable quality that the main material doesn’t have; some of such attributes include resistance to corrosion, magnetism, and attractive surface.

How metal finishing works

Hot blackening equipment

This type of metal finishing involves the coating of the surface of the material with black oxide for improved appearance as well as resistance to abrasion.

Final thought

Metal finishing is an essential phase of metal processing in the manufacturing industry, and its importance is because it allows manufacturers like Rapiddone to give metals an improved appearance. There are several ways in which metal finishing can be done, and each process has it’s uniqueness, as highlighted in this article.

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