Metal finishing is the process of changing the surface of an object, for the purpose of improving its appearance and/or durability. Metal finishing is related to electroplating, which is the production of a thin surface coating of the metal upon another by electrodeposition.
In our industry, the term metal finishing is used in regard to many different processes, but in general it pertains to when, for various reasons, parts need to be made smoother, shinier, duller, or within exact parameters for those characteristics. For example, for precision small parts requiring a smooth surface finish — which is often measured by Ra or RMS, two distinct but related terms — we at ByTune are highly experienced in polishing or lapping to reach specified degrees of smoothness. Similarly, for parts that need to “mate” with each other and therefore require very smooth surfaces, we can deploy our tumbling or lapping metal finishing services to achieve surface finishes of Ra 0.40 µin (0.010 µm).
There are also times when small parts may need to be made less smooth, such as when a part is going to plastic insert molded. Here, the smoother the surface, the harder it would be for the plastic to adhere to the part and the more likely it would be that the part could slip out of the plastic during use. In these instances, ByTune can expertly “rough up” the part surface through various mechanical methods, such as sandblasting or even CNC machining, to make the surface rougher so the part’s surface is more appropriate for insert molding.
Passivation creates a barrier against corrosion by shielding the outer layer of the base metal and making the surface less reactive. Often applied to stainless steel, as well as to other materials, this metal finishing method provides an inert, protective coat that prevents rouging and reduces the rate of corrosion in finished parts. In fact, ByTune offers a complete range of metal finishing services, including more subtle methods such as passivation, which is the removal of an oxide surface layer from the top of certain metals in order to protect them from corrosion
Here at ByTune, we are highly experienced in both citric acid and nitric acid methods of passivation for precision small metal parts, and we offer either one according to each customer’s needs. Whether you are choosing between passivation methods or are considering another type of metal finishing for your small metal parts, our experts are here to help, offering advice, assistance, and a quote. Just give us a call.