Metals: Finishes

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Finishes are used to enhance the appearance and functionality of metal surfaces.

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  • Polishing is a process of smoothing a metal surface.
    • Polishing achieves a glossy, reflective finish.
  • Polishing involves abrasively removing material.
    • To remove material, progressively finer grits of abrasive compounds or polishing wheels are used.
  • Polishing can be done manually or with the use of polishing machines.
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  • Brushing is also known as satin finishing.
  • Brushing creates a brushed or satin texture on the metal surface.
    • This is achieved by brushing the metal surface with abrasive pads or wire brushes.
  • Brushed finishes are commonly used to achieve a textured or matte appearance.
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  • Grinding uses abrasive grinding wheels or belts to remove material from the metal surface.
  • Grinding is used to:
    • Create precise dimensions.
    • Remove surface defects.
    • Achieve specific surface roughness.
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  • Buffing uses rotating cloth or felt wheels and polishing compounds.
  • Buffing achieves a smooth and shiny finish on metal surfaces.
  • Buffing is done after polishing or grinding.
  • Buffing further refines the surface and enhances its lustre.
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  • Electropolishing is an electrochemical process.
  • Electropolishing removes a thin layer of metal from the surface.
    • The thin layer of metal is removed using an electrically charged electrolyte solution.
  • Electropolishing is used to:
    • Smooth the surface.
    • Removes micro imperfections.
    • Enhance corrosion resistance.

Jump to other topics

1Core Technical Principles

2Paper & Board: Specialist Technical Principles

3Timber: Specialist Technical Principles

4Metal: Specialist Technical Principles

5Polymers: Specialist Technical Principles

6Textiles: Specialist Technical Principles

7Designing & Making Principles

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