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Metal Polishing - General Information

Metal Polishing as a Pre-treatment:

Metal Polishing can be an essential part of the preparation for plating or painting a metal item (depending on the outcome required). Polishing is often complemented by other pre-treatment processing such as metal stripping (e.g. removal of old plating, paint or rust), vapour degreasing (to remove oil and grease), surface repairs, welding, soldering, bead blasting, surface rebuilding, or various other treatments. Metal preparation can be critical to the success of any metal finishing project.  The range of pre-treatments we do at A Class are designed to enable optimum quality and are carried out by a team of very skilled operators with many years of experience. 

 Metal Polishing as a Final Finish:

Materials such as brass, stainless steel and aluminium alloys respond well to polishing treatments and, done well, can look great for an extended period.  Clear coatings (for example - laquer) can be added to provide a level of protection from tarnish or deterioration.  An ultimate coating for a metal (other than perhaps stainless steel) is to electroplate it.  At A Class we provide alot of 'stand alone' polishing services - for example for polishing of: alloy wheels, stainless steel or aluminium car trim, brass or copper pots, or fittings, and many other.

 Polishing Methods and Processes:

Great quality outcomes from A Class' polishing projects come from many years of experience and skills using a variety of tools, processes and materials.  A polishing project will typically begin with a suitable level of grinding, followed by a series of polishing or buffing steps, using progressively less coarse abrasives or polishing compounds until the required depth and shine is achieved. 
Some cast metal products will benefit from a heavy build copper coating as part of the preparation phase in order to seal casting impurities (especially where high quality finish is required) before chrome plating.
Stainless steel can be polished using traditional manual methods or in some cases (particularly for higher volume manufactured items) can be electro-polished.
alloy wheels  

Benefits of Polishing Metal:

Without proper preparation before electroplating the final finish will suffer. A Class has extensive experience in polishing as preparation - for many substrates and product types.
Items that are polished 'only' will result in surfaces that are easier to maintain or clean for a period of time however most raw polished surfaces (i.e. not plated or painted afterwards) will require a level of ongoing maintenance due to tarnishing or staining.

 Examples of items we Polish:

Examples of items typically requiring polishing include: tapware, automotive chrome parts, light fittings, brassware, alloy wheels, – in fact – wherever a smooth, largely blemish free, surface finish is required.

Substrates suited to polishing:

Most metals and alloys are polish-able. This includes brass, steel, stainless steel, cast metal, aluminium, alloys and copper.  However varying results will be achieved from each material type depending on its nature and condition.  Polishing of moulded ABS plastics is not required prior to plating.
  ABS plastics

Your Metal Polishing Requirements:

Be sure to provide clear instructions to your metal finisher regarding which surfaces of your product are seen or hidden. Because polishing is a labour intensive activity, cost can be saved by focussing the main polishing attention on 'seen' surfaces. Be as clear as possible about the sort of surface quality you expect in the finished product because polishing is one of those treatments that "the more you do the better it looks" but can become very costly for you if overdone. For each product and desired outcome there is an optimum level of pre–treatment. A good metal finishing or polishing adviser can help you find it.

 

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Copyright © 2009, A Class Metal Finishers Pty Ltd. 6 Waddikee Rd, Lonsdale, South Australia, 5160. Telephone (+ 61 8 8384 4331) Email: acmf@aclassmetal.com.au
Specialising in Copper, Nickel & Chrome Plating, Gold Plating, Silver Plating, Tin Plating, Electroless Nickel, Plating on Plastic (ABS) and Metal Polishing

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