Apex Machine Group is a world-leading company for deburring and finishing equipment. Backed by over a decade of experience, we offer high-quality abrasive sanding machines and supplies for finishing various wood, metal, and plastic or composite products.
What Is Surface Finishing?
Finishing processes serve as a final manufacturing phase. Finishing, polishing, and graining improve aesthetic appeal, address imperfections, and maintain the longevity of a component’s surface material.
Surface finishing encompasses an array of additive or subtractive manufacturing procedures, wet or dry, to refine, modify, or shape a substrate. Sanding is a common option for finishing various materials utilizing abrasive heads or disks to smooth a surface. The overall goal of finishing is to increase the aesthetic appeal, durability, and other characteristics of a finished component.
As a type of finishing procedure, a wet polishing process generates a reflective, uniform, and visually attractive surface that can also function as a sealant and protective layer. Manufacturers typically create a polish using fine- or sub-micron abrasive particles or grits combined with a liquid, resulting in minute amounts of surface material removal.
For ferrous or non-ferrous metal components, graining involves applying a fine grain finish for added surface uniformity and aesthetic appeal. Depending on the grits of abrasives in use, manufacturers can modify the metal’s overall finish.
Common Finishing Processes
Options for these processes vary based on the material and the type of finish you want to achieve. At Apex Machine Group, the polishing capabilities for our equipment include:
- Mechanical polishing. In mechanical polishing, manufacturers use physical tools and abrasion methods to eliminate scratches, lines, pits, and other imperfections from a metal component’s surface. The abrasive media that manufacturers choose for this process will vary. At Apex, we utilize abrasive belts, rotary brushes, and oscillating discs to achieve the desired polish in a single pass.
- Chemical polishing. In this process, manufacturers achieve smooth surfaces not through tooling, but by submerging a component in a chemical substance. This solution dissolves away outer metal layers and creates passivation layers, leaving a smooth, reflective surface finish that is free of stains, burrs, and microscopic metal particles. Chemical polishing gives workpieces the characteristic of being virtually frictionless, as any imperfections or debris that would generally cause friction are now gone.
- Electropolishing. An ideal solution for complex parts or those requiring gentle handling that other finishing processes might damage, electropolishing shares some aspects with chemical polishing. Manufacturers immerse components to cover them in a chemical solution, and electropolished parts also develop passivation layers. However, this polishing method utilizes electric current to remove ions from a metal component’s surface, dissolving them into an electrolytic medium. This process is advantageous for its level of control, allowing manufacturers to remove only micro-amounts, if needed.
- Finish sanding. For wood, plastic, and composites, Apex equipment can achieve finish sanding through veneer platens, brush sanders, sanding belts, and other equipment, with options for up to four combination heads and varying grits. This process readies a product for Apex Machine Group’s finish room.
Surface Finishing Solutions at Apex
At Apex Machine Group, we supply various finishing, polishing, and graining solutions for metal, wood, plastic, and composite components. Our machines are equipped for the following services:
- Metal polishing, finishing, and graining
- Wood finish sanding
- Composite and plastic finish sanding
Our extensive product line includes numerous options for size, sanding head configuration, and abrading media. We aim to supply the machinery and accessories you need for your finishing application.
Finishing, Polishing, and Graining Equipment From Apex
With various finishing, polishing, and graining options available, your choice depends on the material you’re using and the goal you want to achieve with your finish, be it aesthetic appeal or improved strength. At Apex Machine Group, our machinery delivers quality finishes on a vast array of parts and material compositions. Contact us today and let our team help you select the right solution for your operation.