The term ‘metal finishing’ is a word used to describe the numerous ways to treat the exterior of metal by adding a thin layer of component to its existing surface. In doing so, it creates a number of advantages depending upon the process and treatment used. These include:
Enhanced decorative appeal
Better protection from the elements
Enhanced electrical conductivity
Higher resistance to chemicals and/or tarnishing
With this in mind let’s take a closer look at the various types of metal finishing available and what they can do.
As the name suggests, metal plating consists of coating a material in a thin layer of PTFE or nickel. It can improve durability, make it more resistant to corrosion, prevent surface friction, and give a better aesthetic appearance.
If you’re after a decorative coloured finish that’s more hard wearing than paint, then chances are you’d probably opt for powder coating. The process involves melting dry plastic powder onto the surface of the metal at high temperatures. As well as offering protection a textured-powder coating machine can also remove any surface defects found in the metal making it altogether more durable.
Hot blackening involves spreading a thin layer of black oxide onto the metal to produce a matte black finish. This makes it highly resistant to abrasives. It’s a process most commonly used in the manufacture of tools, vehicle parts, and firearms.
Not so much of a protective layer, but protection nonetheless. Sandblasting involves forcing tiny particles of sand, shot, metal pellets, or other abrasive materials into the metal material at incredibly high speeds. As the process occurs, any imperfections in the original metal are ironed out, resulting in a smooth surface. This not only gives the metal more strength but also gives it that characteristic shiny sleek look which is used in architecture, kitchen design, car design, and many other industries.
Unlike metal plating which adds a layer on top of the existing metal covering over any existing imperfections, brushed metal can actually remove those imperfections completely. Machines create a uniform, parallel grain texture, shaving off microscopic layers of metal. In doing so, the process removes any surface imperfections.
In order to find the right finish for your needs it’s worth taking into account production time, cost effectiveness, and the durability of the metal to take the treatment. If you’re unsure then you can always contact an experienced metal fabricator who can help.
Here at Metro Steel we’re just that. We have the ability to transform just about any metal into almost any finished product, so contact us today on 07 3204 1000 and talk to our friendly team who can help. Alternatively if you’re in the Deception Bay area then pop in and see us, we’d love to help.