With so many methods for finishing metal surfaces, knowing which ones are best for which metals can be hard. Which methods are considered the most economical options, and which are the quickest alternatives? Some applications are better than others in certain circumstances, but they all have their pros and cons.
Possibly the simplest and most straightforward of the methods, grinding is achieved through the application of an abrasive wheel to the metal surface. The wheel grinds down the metal to the preferred smoothness and is used in the final process of removing rough patches and sharp edges. Grinders come in many varieties, and they can even be specially designed for certain projects, but the most common type you’ll find is a hand grinder.
There are several different methods for finishing metal surfaces through coating, but two of the most popular are powder coating and water and oil paint. The first, water- and oil-based paint, is relatively inexpensive. Applying it to the metal piece provides basic protection against the elements, though special paint is required for harsher environments. The second coating is a powder, specifically thermosetting polymer powder. This has the same effect as water and oil paint, but it offers greater durability.
Designed to deburr any rough and sharp edges off your metal, vibratory deburring offers a quick solution for when you need to finish multiple pieces quickly. The machine vibrates metal pellets until the metal piece has the desired finish. Vibratory deburring machines come in all types and are very customizable, so there are some considerations to make when you’re choosing equipment. Find out which setup is right for you based on your needs and the space available.
By blasting an abrasive material such as sand, steel shots, or metal pellets at high speeds, you can give your metal piece a smooth, clean surface and an even, uniform matte texture. It’s especially useful in finishing softer metals or large, flat areas of metal. Be careful with small and fragile pieces, as the blasting can cause them to break. Eye protection is required for this process, as the small materials can easily irritate and harm the eyes.
With these tools at your disposal, you can customize and refine your process to create the cleanest finish possible. It all depends on properly applying the right grinder.