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Surface treatments

 

–   CNC machined parts with surface finishes

Why order CNC-machined parts at FACTUREE?

  • Express delivery within 9 - 12 working days
  • Constant free capacities thanks to a large production network
  • Quotation within 48 hours
  • Reliable punctual delivery

Service offer for CNC machining

  • CNC milling / CNC turning
  • Other technologies (CNC bending, laser cutting, EDM...)
  • Prototyping, small and large scale production.
  • Wide range of materials and surface treatments

At FACTUREE you get CNC-machined parts with almost all surface treatments in a short time from one source.

In our large network we have a large number of manufacturing companies that can provide all common surface treatments directly after the CNC-machining on site. In addition, we also cooperate with several specialized electroplating companies in order to be able to offer our customers less frequently requested surface technologies without greatly substantially prolonged delivery times.

By commissioning us for complete processing incl. surface finishing, you no longer need to waste time searching for another available company or additional logistics. In addition, we remain your sole contractual partner throughout the entire production process and assume the responsibility for the flawless quality of the surface treatments.

What is the purpose of surface treatments?

Surface treatments or finishes are techniques that are used to alter the surface properties of a material. Finishes can be carried out for various reasons. The aim is always to ensure that the corresponding surfaces meet special requirements and can have the following functions:

  • mechanical protective functions (e.g. against wear, friction)
  • barrier functions (protection against corrosion, permeation, diffusion, thermal insulation)
  • interactions of boundary surfaces (biocompatibility, wettability, paintability)
  • electrical functions (conductivity, electrical insulation)
  • optical functions (reflection, absorption, decoration)

Thanks to our large network of partner companies, we are able to provide all common surface finishes.  On this page you will find an overview of all treatments that we can always provide. Further surface treatments are also possible on request. FACTUREE remains your sole contact and contractual partner even in the case of numerous parts with different finishes. 

We offer the following surface treatments

Electroplating

In surface technology, anodizing refers to a group of coating processes in which oxide layers are produced or reinforced on metallic objects by means of electrolysis. In anodizing, the metal is submerged in an electrolytic solution (e.g. sulfuric acid) and functions as an anode (positive pole). The electric current forms an oxide layer on the component's surface, which can vary in thickness depending on the strength of the voltage. Anodizing aluminum ist the most widely used process.

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Hard anodizing is a process of electrolytic oxidation of aluminum materials to create protective layers on the surface. These serve as wear and/or corrosion protection, have good tribological properties and, depending on the counterpart, have very good sliding properties which can be further improved through PTFE impregnation.

To create corrosion protection for ferrous surfaces, black finishing involves submerging workpieces in baths containing acidic or alkaline solutions or molten salts. This process forms an oxide layer of a striking deep black color on the surface, the thickness of which is approximately 1 µm. Due to this small layer thickness, the treatment hardly affects the dimensional accuracy of the workpieces. Thanks to this property and its low thermal load, burnishing is one of the most frequently used processes in machine and tool construction.

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In surface technology, passivation refers to the spontaneous formation or targeted creation of a protective layer on a metallic material that prevents or greatly slows down corrosion of the base material. Passivation is not a single method but different surface techniques such as chromating are assigned to the passivation methods.

Phosphate conversion coating is a widely used process in surface technology in which chemical reactions of metallic surfaces with aqueous phosphate solutions form a so-called conversion layer of firmly adhering metal phosphates. It is usually used for steel, but can also be used for galvanized or cadmium-plated steels and aluminum. The main areas of application are corrosion protection, bonding promotion, friction and wear reduction as well as electrical insulation. Phosphate conversion coating is also known under various brand names such as Parkerizing.

Nickel plating is the collective term for various processes for producing a nickel coating on mostly metallic objects. Due to its special properties, nickel is particularly suitable for many coating metal applications. Nickel is resistant to air, water, diluted acids and most alkalis, but not to nitric acid, concentrated hydrochloric acid and ammonia.

Through the process of galvanizing, steel is provided with a thin layer of zinc to protect it from corrosion. As a metallic coating, in addition to its shielding effect, zinc also offers active corrosion protection by acting as a sacrificial anode to the more noble iron (see voltage series). The cathodic effect of the zinc coating prevents the corrosion of the iron up to a distance of about 5 mm, so that defects in the zinc layer and bare cut edges are also protected. However, the resulting bimetallic corrosion accelerates the removal of the adjacent zinc layer.

Heat treatments

The hardening of ferrous materials (steel and cast iron) is an increase of its mechanical resistance by targeted modification and transformation of its microstructure. It can be achieved through heat treatment with subsequent quenching (sudden cooling). If a metal is plastically deformed, dislocations spread in the workpiece. In order to increase the strength, measures must be taken to hinder the movement of dislocations.

Quenching and tempering describes the combined heat treatment of metals, consisting of hardening and subsequent tempering. In general, this refers to the material steel, but this type of thermal microstructure formation and change is also common for non-ferrous metals such as titanium alloys.

Case hardening - also Surface hardening - is a method with which the outer layer of metallic components can be hardened. According to DIN (German Industrial Standard) 10052, however, the term hardening of the surface layer covers only those processes in which the surface layer is austenitized: flame hardening, induction hardening, laser beam and electron beam hardening. Austenitizing is a microstructure transformation in which the steel is heated up to the austenite range.

Nitriding is a heat treating process that diffuses nitrogen into the surface of a metal to create a case-hardened surface. These processes are most commonly used on low-carbon, low-alloy steels. They are also used on medium and high-carbon steels, titanium, aluminium and molybdenum. In 2015, nitriding was used to generate unique duplex microstructure (Martensite-Austenite, Austenite-ferrite), known to be associated with strongly enhanced mechanical properties.

Mechanical finishes

Laser engraving is the marking of objects using an intensive laser beam. In contrast to laser printing, in which only the pigment application on the printed material is controlled by a weak laser beam, laser marking changes the inscribed material itself. The process and energy input therefore depend on the material. Laser inscriptions are waterproof, smudge-proof and very durable. They can be created quickly, automatically and individually, which is why the process is often used to number individual parts.

Polishing is a machining process for various materials. The polishing grain contained in the polishing paste mechanically penetrates the surface. Uneven areas, furrows and grooves are levelled out.

When polishing clear automotive lacquer, the surface should be as smooth as possible. This means that incident light is reflected evenly and strongly, which the eye perceives as high gloss. In the industrial polishing of brass, for example, polishing serves to produce surfaces that are as uniform as possible so that the workpiece is optimally prepared for downstream processes such as electroplating.

Grinding is a cutting manufacturing process known since antiquity for fine and finish machining of workpieces. It can be used manually or on grinding machines. As with all machining processes, excess material is separated in the form of chips. The edges of the microscopically small, hard, mineral crystals in the grinding tool act as cutting edges. In ancient times, grinding tools consisted of suitable types of stone such as mill sandstone. Today, grinding tools are generally manufactured industrially by joining mineral bulk materials such as corundum with a bonding agent to form grinding wheels, stones or belts.

The term sandblasting (also abrasive blasting) refers to the surface treatment of a material or workpiece (blasting material) by the action of abrasives, e.g. sand as an abrasive against rust, dirt, paint, scale and other impurities or for surface design by matting.

Glass bead blasting is a mechanical surface treatment very similar to sand blasting. In this process, instead of sand grains, tiny glass beads are used as the blasting medium, which results in less roughening of the material. Glass bead blasting is a popular process for smoothing and compacting surfaces.