Our goal is to make CNC machining as simple, painless, and affordable as possible. So, we’ve streamlined our playbook to offer expedited metal finishing services, giving our clients and vendors the benefit of modernized efficiency and reliability.
Why is metal finishing important?
Metal finishing is an essential part of many CNC machining processes. It not only changes and improves the surface of a part, but it also reinforces the strength while ensuring proper tolerances on intricate components. There are several different types of metal finishing, with each technique offering unique pros and cons depending on the material and machining processes used. Because finishing alters the material’s characteristics, it’s important to choose the right methods with the help of a certified CNC machinist.
The 6 different types of metal finishing at Pioneer Cuts
Since we understand the importance of fast, efficient, and consistent quality, we strive to provide a wide range of options for our clients. Here are the six types of expedited metal finishing offered by our teams:
#1. Metal Plating
This is a technique we use to enhance a component’s durability. It boosts corrosion resistance, strengthens the material against surface friction, and improves the overall appearance. Thus, it’s a crucial step in manufacturing intricate moving parts. Our experts use a specially formulated chemical bath to coat or change the material’s surface or substrate. An electrical current is then used for dispersal, making this a complicated but necessary step in many manufacturing projects.
Passivation is a favored technique for improving the surface condition of stainless steel and other hard metals. It works by dissolving the iron embedded in the material, thereby softening it for easier manipulation without compromising the part’s integrity. The material gets placed into an acid solution to create a thin oxide layer that increases resistance while maintaining the geometries, especially in tight tolerance components.
#3. Powder Coating
This process is used to produce a textured, matte, or glossy exterior on a part. It involves melting dry plastic power with electrostatic tooling, often in several layers. Using extreme heat, the material is then cured to form a hard skin-like coating. Powder coating is favored among certain industries and applications because of its fortifying benefits and attractive, customizable properties.
#4. Electroless Plating
With electroless plating, uniform layers of metal are applied to the material or substrate. As per the name, no electrical charge is required for this process. Therefore, it’s commonly used for highly conductive metals – nickel, for example – because it provides a standardized thickness, even on unusually shaped parts. It also increases the metal’s resistance against corrosion, oxidation, and wear while improving its overall appearance and reducing the effects of friction.
#5. Hot Blackening
This process uses specialized machines to create a matte black finish on metals. That, in turn, increases the surface’s abrasion resistance and drastically changes its appearance. Hot blackening disperses a thin layer of black oxide under extremely high temperatures, so precise safety measures must be followed. Each part is then placed into a variety of different tanks filled with coolants, caustics, and cleaning solutions until the final product is revealed.
#6. Type I, II & III Anodizing
This is an electrolytic passivation process that’s commonly used on aluminum parts. It helps increase the thickness of natural oxides on the surface. With the metal serving as the anode, electrical currents are fed between it and the cathode. As a result, corrosion is more easily mitigated, wear and tear are reduced, and adhesion for paints and primers is easier. But because dangerous substances such as sulfuric acid are routinely required for metal anodizing, these processes should be done by a trained expert.
In fact, all-metal finishing processes – expedited or otherwise – should be handled by someone who’s trained to do the work. After all, each component has already undergone so much machining by this point that it makes no sense to continue otherwise. However, not all CNC machine shops are equipped to offer those services in-house, so the quality and dependability of their vendors are what matters most.
How Pioneer Cuts offers expedited metal finishing at affordable prices
At Pioneer Cuts, we work hard to establish and maintain a vast network of vendors so that we can give our clients what they need when they need it. That’s why we’ve teamed up with several highly respected metal finishing companies in the area. Our arrangements make it possible to provide clients with same-day metal finishing and, in most cases, same-day heat-treating too.
We know that our clients depend on great lead times and flexible, accommodating schedules to meet tough industry demands. Sometimes, our customers need to rush the production, distribution, or assembly of their parts as well. But thanks to the Pioneer Cuts expedited metal finishing network, that’s no longer a problem. Our teams can reduce lead times by a significant margin when our expedited metal finishing services are applied.
Metal finishing is an integral part of most CNC machining applications, especially for aesthetic industries and sectors devoted to high performance or safety.