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Industrial Metal Finishing Services

Industrial metal finishing encompasses many chemical, electrochemical, or mechanical treatments that improve the metal component’s quality and function. It’s an important final step in metal part production, for enhanced durability, aesthetics, and material properties, including greater resistance to chemicals and abrasions and higher conductivity.

Types of Industrial Metal Finishing

There are numerous industrial finishing services available with unique advantages and drawbacks of their own. Some of the most common metal finishing services include the following:

  • Electroplating uses an electric current to deposit a thin layer of metal onto a substrate, providing a protective outer shell.
  • Anodizing electrochemically transforms a metal surface (most commonly aluminum), creating a stronger, more attractive surface. Because anodizing alters the surface of the metal itself, it’s a much longer-lasting solution than alternatives that peel or chip over time. Anodizing per MIL-A-8625 standards is also available.
  • Chemical coating uses one of many coatings to create a protective film, primarily for aluminum parts. The chemical solution reacts with the surface of the metal to create a protective coating.
  • Clear or yellow chemical film creates a chemical sealant that resists corrosion, per MIL-DTL-5541F. Options include either RoHS or Mil Spec yellow coatings.
  • Powder coating creates a decorative surface similar to paint but much thicker, offering superior protection. Options include textured, matte, or glossy powder-coated surfaces.
  • Silk screening uses stenciling and other marking techniques to paint a carefully delineated section of metal. It works on nearly any type of metal, with the option between thermoplastic or thermoset coatings (the latter being more robust).
  • Heat treating hardens materials and removes many of the mechanical stresses incurred through manufacturing.

The Industrial Metal Finishing Process

Metal finishing plays an important role in the overall fabrication and manufacturing process. Industrial metal finishing services can be broken down into three basic stages:

  1. Surface preparation: It’s important to remove contaminants that could disrupt the finishing process. Once machining is complete, technicians prepare the surface to ensure it’s suitable for the chosen coating, plating, painting, or other finishing treatment(s).
  2. Application of the finish: The chosen metal finishing service begins, involving any of the chemical or electrochemical baths, polishing, buffing, painting, coating, or other processes described above.
  3. Curing of the finish: After applying the finish, technicians carefully cure the materials until fully set. Some industrial metal finishing processes cure almost instantly, for improved speed and efficiency.

Even before machining, foreknowledge of the right finishing process involved in a design enables engineers to make accommodations that can reduce costs and improve production efficiency.

Metal Finishing Services by General A&E

General A&E has been perfecting and advancing industrial metal finishing processes through a combination of advanced certifications and extensive multi-industry experience. Since 1954, we’ve continually advanced our quality controls and expanded our metal finishing services to fulfill the needs of various military, aerospace, aviation, and other advanced industries that depend on precision-engineered metal machining and finishing processes.

Selecting the right industrial finishing services for your application requires a thorough understanding of each option available for your chosen materials and design goals. Our experienced technicians work closely with each customer to understand their needs and present the optimal solution for protecting metal components and enhancing their quality.

Request a quote to learn more about our comprehensive range of advanced metal finishing services, and tell our dedicated engineers about your metal finishing needs.