Metal finishing

Metal finishing is often used when treating the exterior of a metal product by applying a thin complementary layer to its surface.
There are many metal finishing processes available, that each can be used for a variety of purposes.

Metal plating

Metal plating machines use a chemical bath to apply a coat to, or alter the surface of a substrate with a thin layer of metal, which could be nickel or PTFE.
A metal plating finish provides a number of advantages: it can improve a product’s durability, resistance to corrosion, surface friction, and exterior appearance.
Although it offers many advantages, it isn’t suited for smoothing out surface defects.

Brushed metal

A brushed metal finish, unlike plating, is an effective way of smoothing out a surface and removing its imperfections.
These types of finishing machines manifest a uniform, parallel grain surface texture to a product.

Buff polishing

If you wish your product to have a smooth, non-textured finish, then a buff polishing machine might be the thing you require.
As expecting with buff polishing, a cloth wheel is used to buff the surface, which then produces a glossy shine.

Advantages of applying a finishing treatment to metal, include:
– Increased durability
– Attractive
– Enhanced electrical conductivity
– Higher electrical resistance
– Higher chemical resistance
– Higher tarnish resistance

Polishcraft, the surface finishing specialists in Birmingham

Hard Chrome Plating & Decorative Chrome: What’s the difference?

Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between decorative chrome or hard chrome plating?

Chromium is about the same hardness in both decorative chrome and hard chrome plating, about 800 to 1000 VHN (which is incredibly heavy). The main difference is found in the thickness of the deposit.

For the decorative purpose of chrome, it is seated best on nickel, which adheres incredibly well to copper – the combination of all three offers possibly the best corrosion protection resistance available. Decorative chrome thickness can vary from anywhere between a few hundredths of a mil to one mil. The mirror finish will effectively only be as good as the finish that is on the surface before the chrome, so it’s all a very difficult process at times.

Mould Tool Polishing
An example of chrome plating

For the purpose of being functional, or take either take advantage of the extremely low friction that chrome holds or for building surfaces and pistons, hard chrome will be plated with a thickness anywhere between 1 to 50 mills.

When used as a bearing surface, chrome simply must be micro-finished, something which will then provide a level of friction much lower than any other metal when used against the likes of steel, iron, brass, bronze or aluminium alloys. There’s something that you mustn’t do; Do not use chrome against chrome. Chrome is much harder than casehardened steel, so we are then left with a perfect set-up for longwearing working surfaces. Chrome will resist pretty much all organic and inorganic compounds and acids, except hydrochloric acid.

For more on hard chrome plating, surface finishing & polishing, please visit our website.