Some parts are completely finished as soon as the primary manufacturing process is completed. Others require secondary machining services — drilling, threading, deburring, and so on. Some parts even require metal finishing services.
Surface finishing processes can be divided into three primary categories, each with unique benefits: mechanical finishes, surface treatments, and heat treatments. As a globally renowned manufacturing solutions provider, Bracalente Manufacturing Group (BMG) offers a full suite of surface finishing processes to ensure fully completed parts.
Mechanical finishes are secondary machining services performed on part surfaces to achieve certain effects. BMG offers a host of mechanical finishing services including centerless grinding, external and internal diameter cylindrical grinding, precision honing, roto or vibratory finishing, barrel finishing, shot blasting, surface grinding, surface lapping, and more.
Every metal surface treatment will fall into one of two categories: paint and color, or coating and plating.
Paint and Color
Painting and coloring processes may seem like cosmetic or aesthetic processes — they are, but they perform other functions as well. Among other purposes, paint is used to:
- Increase corrosion resistance in metals
- Help to prevent and control fouling, or growth of plant and animal life in marine environments
- Increase abrasion resistance
- Increase heat resistance
- Decrease risk of slips, such as on the decks of ships
- Decrease solar absorption
Coating and Plating
Coating and plating can refer to any number of similar metal finishing services in which metal parts are coated, plated, or otherwise covered by an additional layer of material. While the goals of these processes are almost universally to increase corrosion resistance, increase strength, or a combination thereof, the processes themselves vary widely.
The anodizing process uses electrolytic passivation to increase the thickness of the oxide layer that naturally occurs on metal parts. In galvanization, a layer of zinc is applied to metal surfaces. Phosphatizing, sometimes known as Parkerizing, chemically bonds a phosphate conversion to metal. Electroplating uses an electrical charge to bond any number of different metals to a workpiece.
Contrary to coating and plating processes, which aim to improve a material’s exterior appearance, heat treatments are generally used to change various measures of strength in a material. Like coating and plating, there are many varied heat treatment processes available.
Annealing is a process in which a metal is heated to a temperature higher than its recrystallization temperature and then allowed to cool — it is used to increase ductility (reduce hardness), thereby making a material easier to work with. Hardening describes five different processes used to increase the hardness, or resistance to plastic deformation, of a material.
BMG has built a reputation as a high quality manufacturer over the course of 65 years. We did so by offering an expansive selection of secondary metal finishing services and the dedication to high quality and precision workmanship that those capabilities allow us to offer.
To learn more about the capabilities discussed above, and the other metal finishing services we offer, contact BMG today.