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Basics And Applications of Metal Surface Treatment

Views: 50     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-06-15      Origin: Site


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Metal surface treatment plays a crucial role in parts production, enhancing the quality of finished products. Various metal finishing techniques are employed by mechanics and welding manufacturers, tailored to different types of metals. Failure to utilize the appropriate surface treatment methods can result in material wastage and increased manufacturing expenses, along with prolonged cycle times that hinder market leadership opportunities. To mitigate these risks, it is essential to grasp the proper surface treatment techniques for your product, as they significantly influence project cost, quality, and appeal.


What is Metal Surface Treatment?

Metal surface treatment encompasses a range of techniques aimed at altering the structure, chemical composition, and physical properties of metal surfaces. Through mechanical, thermal, chemical, or composite methods, this process enhances the metal's corrosion resistance, wear resistance, decorative appeal, and other specialized functions. Common treatments include oil removal, rust removal, phosphating, and anti-rust applications, serving as preparatory steps for metal coating and protective methods.

Basics of Metal Surface Treatment

Metal surface treatment encompasses processes that alter the metal surface through addition, removal, or reshaping techniques. These methods aim to enhance the product's corrosion resistance, wear resistance, aesthetics, or other specialized functions. Here are several common metal surface treatment techniques:

Anodizing: An electrolytic passivation process that increases the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the metal surface, enhancing wear and corrosion resistance.

Powder Coating: Involves electrostatically depositing dry powder onto the metal surface. Upon baking in an oven, a chemical reaction occurs, improving powder adhesion to the metal.

Pickling: A metal finishing process that removes impurities and irregularities using an acidic pickling solution.

Polishing: Achieves a shiny metal surface through physical friction or chemical agents.

Grinding: A machining process that removes surface irregularities from the metal.

Lapping: A precision technique used to achieve high surface refinement and flatness when necessary.

How to Choose the Right Metal Surface Treatment Method?


Factors influencing the choice and extent of surface treatment include:

Type and level of contamination: For instance, for cold-rolled steel plates with higher oil content and minimal rust, focus on effective oil removal.

Environmental conditions: Workpieces exposed to harsh environments with extreme temperature variations, sunlight, moisture, and wind demand high corrosion resistance. Thus, treatments like cleaning, phosphating, and passivation become essential.

Coating properties: Variations in coating compositions and adhesion to the substrate necessitate specific pretreatment methods.

Workpiece material: Different materials require tailored pretreatment procedures to ensure optimal adhesion and performance.

Cost considerations: Factors such as workpiece lifespan, coating requirements, processing technology, equipment needs, and space requirements influence overall processing costs.

How to Evaluate Cost Factors in Metal Surface Treatment

Type of treatment: Various methods like anodizing, electroplating, and powder coating incur different costs due to varying material and process requirements.

Process complexity: More intricate processes demand additional time and resources, leading to higher costs.

Material expenses: This encompasses raw material costs, chemicals, coatings, and other consumables.

Equipment and energy usage: Expenses related to equipment maintenance, depreciation, and energy consumption, such as electricity and water, contribute to overall costs.

Labor expenses: Costs associated with labor, including wages, training, and other related fees, impact total expenditures.

Environmental considerations: Costs associated with environmental compliance, such as wastewater treatment, exhaust gas filtration, and waste management, add to the financial burden.

Miscellaneous costs: Additional expenses, such as quality control measures, packaging, and transportation, further influence the total cost of surface treatment.


Applications of Metal Surface Treatment

Protective: Most methods offer protection and reinforcement to metal, enhancing its resistance to corrosion in different environments like atmosphere, seawater, and chemicals. They also enhance fatigue and wear resistance, as well as lubricity during service. For instance, anodizing of aluminum alloys, galvanizing steel wire, and chrome plating in everyday and engineering applications serve as prime examples.

Decorative: Metal materials are susceptible to rust and loss of luster over time due to environmental factors. Surface treatments can imbue metal surfaces with brightness, color, and patterns, enhancing their aesthetic appeal. Techniques such as laser engraving, photochemical etching, metal embossing, and various coatings contribute to this decorative aspect.

Functional: Some treatments endow metal surfaces with special functionalities for broader applications. These functionalities include insulation, reflective heat insulation, hydrophilic/hydrophobic properties, and biocompatibility, among others. This extends the utility of metal materials in various specialized contexts.


Importance of surface treatment: Essential for manufacturing metal parts, benefiting both end-users and manufacturers.

Potential drawbacks: Lack of knowledge about suitable treatments can disadvantage both parties involved.

Mitigating risks: Thorough research is crucial. Identify specific needs, select the optimal finishing method, understand procedural requirements, and execute effectively.

By following these steps, manufacturers can ensure favorable outcomes, enhancing product quality and overall satisfaction.

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