As Machined finish

As Machined parts will have marks that follow the path of the cutting tool. The quality of the surface is measured in terms of average surface roughness (Ra). Ra is a measure of the average deviation of the machined profile from the ideal surface.The standard as-machined surface roughness is 3.2 μm (125 μin). A finishing cutting pass can be applied to reduce the roughness of a surface down to 1.6, 0.8 or 0.4 μm (63, 32 or 16 μin). This will increase the cost of producing a part, as extra machining steps and tighter quality control are required.As machined parts can be also smoothed or polished to improve their surface quality and aesthetics by reducing their surface roughness. Smoothing and polishing will remove some material affecting the dimensional tolerances of the part.

Bead Blasting

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Powder coating

Powder coating adds a thin layer of protective polymer on the surface of the part. Powder coating is a strong, wear-resistant finish that is compatible with all metal materials and can be combined with a bead blasting to create parts with smooth and uniform surfaces and excellent corrosion resistance.The powder coating process is similar to spray painting, but the “paint” is a dry powder instead of a liquid. The parts are first primed with an optional phosphating or chromating coat to increase their corrosion resistance, then coated with dry powder using an electrostatic “spray” gun and then cured in at high temperature (usually in an oven at 200oC).

Rules of Thumb

  1. Use as machined finish for part with tight tolerances, where aesthetics are not an issue.
  2. Use bead blasting for parts with a matte uniform finish, when dimensional tolerances are not a key concern.
  3. Use anodizing (type II) to add a thin, aesthetically pleasing, protective layer to your aluminum and titanium parts.
  4. Use anodizing (type III) in engineering applications, where very high wear resistance and surface hardness are required.
  5. Use powder coating for applications were high impact strength is required or to finish parts that cannot be anodized.

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