Discuss the Processing Techniques for Metal Finishing
“Processing techniques” is a very broad term that can be used to refer to a variety of industrial processes that are meant to modify a manufactured product, component, or surface so that their properties or features can be improved.
There are mechanical as well as chemical techniques and both of these have a wide range of treatment and effects when it comes to metal finishing. These include smoothening of sharp edges (such as in sandblasting) and the improvement of the grip of a component (such as in knurling). Most of these techniques do not just serve to augment the mechanical qualities of the component in consideration but also boost its final appearance.
Therefore, processing techniques are usually the last process of a component before it is assembled or shipped. Below are some of the commonly used techniques for metal finishing.
Abrasive Blasting: In this process, a high pressure stream of abrasive material is driven against a surface. This technique can be used to make the surface smoother or rougher; it can also be used to shape it or remove any impurities.
Electropolishing: This process is very similar to electroplating but in reverse. A metal component is dipped in an electrolytic bath and this serves as the anode. The particles drift away towards the cathode and the final result is the smoother surface.
Grinding: Grinding is an abrasive process. It helps produce smooth finishes on flat surfaces. It is a very precise technique and it can be used to create shallow cuts measuring just a few micrometers on metal surfaces.
Polishing and Buffing: In polishing and buffing, abrasive tools are used in order to smoothen the surface of a product. Polishing uses abrasive discs or belts. It is used to level surfaces, eliminate any pits or scratches, and leave a brushed or lined finish on a polished surface. Buffing, on the other hand, is used to remove the lines that are left after polishing. In buffing, a rotating cloth wheel impregnated with fine abrasive compounds leads to a shining finish on the metal.
Vibratory finishing: The process of vibratory finishing allows small work pieces or components to be deburred, burnished, cleaned, and brightened. In this process, the tub of a vibratory tumbler has the parts placed in it and then, the contents are vibrated. This process can also be used to finish internal features.
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