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Metalworking Blog

6 Applications of Metal Finishing Equipment

By October 20, 2020May 20th, 2021No Comments

Metal finishing machines are some of the most powerful and versatile solutions on the market. These tools use a combination of abrasive belts, rotating brushes, oscillating discs, and customizable heads to process metal parts in a single pass—and fully automate your metalworking processes. Wet and dry metal finishing machines are also compatible with many types of materials, making them ideal across a wide variety of applications.

Let’s explore some of the core applications of metal finishing equipment to give you a better understanding of whether these solutions are the best choice for your shop:

1. Metal Deburring

Deburring smooths the rough edges of metal parts or components. This process plays an essential role in removing any burrs or edges left on parts after laser cutting, flame cutting, punching, drilling, and other machining operations—thereby ensuring more reliable, consistent, and high-quality parts overall.

Metal finishing machines use a combination of abrasive belts and rotary discs to remove lateral and vertical burrs in a single pass, making them significantly faster and more efficient compared to hand-held deburring tools. At Apex, we offer unique metal finishing machines that can run both small and large parts simultaneously—a great solution for shops that need to deburr components as small as 3” x 3”.

2. Edge Radiusing

Edge radiusing (also known as edge rounding) is a process that breaks the edge of metal parts, usually through the creation of a radius to the edge of the workpiece. This application eliminates scallops, nibble marks, and other imperfections across the part’s edge to achieve a safe, uniform, and high-quality finish.

Metal finishing machines deploy special oscillating discs and abrasive sanding strips for edge radiusing, which optimizes the part’s surface for coating coverage and corrosion resistance. Metal finishing equipment can deliver an edge radius of up to 2 mm with remarkable speed and consistency, making them well suited for matching customer specifications.

3. Slag Grinding

Slag grinding involves the removal of heavy slag and dross from metal components. This process is useful for metalworkers reliant on thermal cutting operations, which produce heavy quantities of slag. Slag grinding helps ensure any excess metal is removed from the main part and creates a uniform, speed-efficient finish.

Metalworkers can use a few types of metal finishing equipment for slag grinding and dross removal, depending on the type of finish they aim to achieve. At Apex, our slag grinding machines use a combination of course abrasive sanding belts, high horse-power motors, and a hard durometer contract drum to effectively grind slag. Not only do these solutions eliminate slag and doss, but they also remove any remaining mill scale, enabling faster and more cost-effective finishing operations.

4. Precision Grinding

Precision grinding is imperative for fabricating and finishing metal parts with tight or specific tolerances, such as components for medical devices or aerospace instruments. This process uses abrasive belts to grind metal workpieces to a precise fixed thickness.

Because precision grinding requires flawless accuracy, metalworkers often rely on automated wet and dry metal finishing equipment. For example, Apex metal grinding machines are designed to allow for precision up to 0.02 mm, making them ideal tools for meeting and maintaining close tolerances.

5. Metal Polishing & Finishing

Metal polishing and finishing is used to enhance the surface of a metal part to improve its aesthetic, prepare it for paint or coating adhesion, and optimize its resistance to corrosion and other compromising elements. Metal finishing can be achieved using either wet or dry processes, though wet metal finishing equipment is preferred.

Metal finishing machines are typically outfitted with basic abrasive belts for metal polishing. However, some types of materials may require more specialized tools to create an ideal finish. That’s why each Apex finishing and deburring machine can be customized with different combinations of brush heads and abrasive belts to match your unique surface requirements.

6. Metal Graining

Metal graining involves taking a rough piece of ferrous or non-ferrous metal and applying a fine grain finish to create a smooth and uniform finish. Metalworkers can use many types of abrasives to alter this finish to match different aesthetics—while removing surface defects such as scratches or mill scale.

A metal finishing and deburring machine can provide metal graining by running parts through standard abrasive belts. These metalworking tools can also be outfitted with different abrasive grits, creating uniquely attractive graining effects that are distinct and high quality.

Reach New Heights in Production with Apex Machine Group

At Apex Machine Group, we offer a selection of metal finishing equipment for deburring, grinding, edge rounding, polishing, and more. No matter how demanding or specific your production requirements, our team of industry experts can help you find a perfect machine to meet your needs.

Contact Apex today to learn more about our range of metal solutions—or advice on how to choose the right finishing and deburring machine for your unique applications. We look forward to working with you.