Exploring different Finishes for your Metal Sheet Fabrication Projects

Finishes for your Metal Sheet Fabrication

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In the metal fabrication project, finishing is the final step. It saves the fabricated parts or components from corrosion. Moreover, it is also essential to enhance the aesthetic outlook of the metal fabricated parts. This blog will highlight high-quality finishing options for sheet metal fabrication. Thus, you can choose the best option for your next fabrication process. 

electroplating in sheet metal fabrication

Electroplating

    Electroplating is a widely used finishing option. This process involves the additional layer of the sacrificed metals. In this process, a metal sheet acts as a cathode, and sacrificed metal is placed on the anode of the electrolyte. Thus, sacrificed metal and metal sheet parts are chemically bonded by electric conduction. 

    Tin, nickel, and several other sacrificed metals are used in electroplating. However, if you have chosen electroplating as a finishing option, keep the margin for more thickness on the metal parts.

    Why electroplating?

    Electroplating is an excellent non-corrosive process. Manufacturers widely use it for its better conductivity and abrasion resistance. Another advantage of this process is its compatibility with a wide range of sheet metal types. However, it may heighten the cost of the final metal sheet products.

    anodizing of sheet metal fabrication

    Anodizing

    Anodizing is another successful technique against corrosion and abrasion resistance. Sheet metal parts are placed in an acid electrolyte bath with an electric current. There are usually three types of anodizing solutions:

    • Type I anodizing: this process involves bathing a metal sheet in chromic acid to get a thin layer of the finishing surface.
    • Type II anodizing: It offers a strong corrosion-resistant layer. This process uses sulfuric acid instead of chromic acid to give better output.
    • Type III anodizing offers a hard coat with premium wear-and-tear resistance. Moreover, Type III anodization involves a thicker coating of sacrificed metal. 

    Anodizing enhances the commercial look of the metal parts with various color coating options. 

    Why anodizing?

    Manufacturers prefer it for its durability as it is free of fading and chalking risks. This process creates Ultra Violet stable products with the perfect and permanent coating option. 

    However, due to low compatibility with the metals, manufacturers avoid it in using several projects. For instance, titanium and aluminum have low thermal conductivity. Similarly, it is incompatible to go with the stainless steel. Its poor replication consistency makes it less favorite in several metal sheet processes.

    bead blasting

    Bead Blasting

      Bead Blasting involves the bombardment of thousands of glass or sand particles. This process uses compressed air to shoot these tiny particles. With the matte texture, bead blasting offers a smoother and premium solution for coating. 

      Manufacturers use it to remove paint from the final products as well. For Aluminum metal sheet fabrication, this coating is the ideal one. Projects with high visual importance, cosmetic treatments, and superb matte finishing can easily undergo this process. 

      Why bead blasting?

      Bead blasting goes superbly with sensitive surfaces. With its environment-friendly property and non-reactive finishing, bead blasting is safe for common metal sheet fabrication processes. It is highly compatible with steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, etc. 

      Bead blasting is a comparatively slow finishing process. So, it can be expensive for small projects. In the case of using Silica as a sheet metal finishing solution, it is highly risky. Silica hazards involve lung diseases and cancer. 

      Powder coating

      It is one of the most popular finishing solutions. It requires the coating of powder paint onto the fabricated parts or products. Powder coating creates a strong layer of paint that keeps the products from wear and tear. Powder coating also satisfies the aesthetic needs of the projects. It is available in a variety of colors. In addition, it is also available in different types of finishes like glossy, matte, textured, metallic, or flat looks. 

      Why powder coating? This coating solution makes the product less explosive and more economical. It is compatible with any sheet metal. That is why manufacturers can freely use it for any project. Specifications of material and process may restrict the manufacturers for many projects. 

        Selecting the right Finishing Solution

      You can find many other types of finishing options as well. How can you know which one is the best for your project? It is quite easy. Manufacturers evaluate the following factors before choosing the best finishing option:

      • Type of the metal
      • Requirements of the project
      • Cosmetic treatment required in the project
      • Thickness of the final product
      • Turnaround time

      Manufacturers assess the compatibility of the metal sheet with the coating process. Moreover, the budget of the product is one of the prime factors. If you are low on budget, anodizing should never be selected as it is one of the most expensive finishing solutions. This blog has identified the premium quality finishing with its advantages and drawbacks.  

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