Surface Finishing Confusion ?
Are you confused about surface finishing? If you’re not, then you are an exception. Even big companies and organization have problems with this discipline. Why? For one thing, the wording covers a very wide range of technologies. Second, there is no one central organization that covers this subject in its entirety.
Surface finishing can cover everything from metal removal via abrasives, pressure, liquids, chemicals, heat and cold, to plating, coating and painting. If you did a search on this subject every one of these subject technologies and companies involved would show up. That means that you have to go through a lot of information to find something a little more specific.
A couple of years back
, I spoke and proposed a classification system for evaluating and classifying all surface removal systems. Now I am suggesting maybe an extension for this classification system to include material enhancement systems. The addition benefit of an extended classification system would be better identification and understanding the advantages and disadvantages of a specific type of surface finishing.
Basically surface finishing can be divided into two very distinct system. One is involved with the negative material removal process or modification of a surface and the other is a positive system of value added technology to a part. So under an extended classification system of surface finishing you can create the categories of negative surface finishing vs. positive surface finishing, or before and after surface finishing. If you like to shorten wording, you can have surface finishing type 1, A, or A1 vs. either surface finishing 2, B, or B2.
Again, A1 systems remove or modify the surface features of a part; whereas, B2 systems either plate or coat a part. One system is primarily responsible for smoothing surface features and the other is designed to protect the smoothness of those features from oxidation which would occur if nothing were done to seal the micro structure of the surface of the part.
Technically, we are not talking about anything new here. Only how we view or talk about the subject of surface finishing and/or how to define it. This is a simple re-wording fix to maybe a large problem and as I said early on, there is no one overseeing group. This is a type of Dewey Decimal type classification system that makes searching for answers easier to come by. However, because we are talking about something intangible and the lack of physical tangible results from such a classification system there seems no likely implementation of such a system. No one or organization seems to want to introduce standards into common practical use. Yet the benefits can be wide spread, chief among these is speed in application research.
Maybe an example is in order here. Let me briefly explain the Negative surface finishing classification system and how it works. Basically, in A1 systems, there are 5 different technologies of how energy is applied to a part to remove material, plus manual hand operations involved in material removal. I classified these systems from 0 to 5 and that is 6 classifications. That is all there is. There are no other systems that remove material.
The six systems are as follows: 0 is for manual hand operations, 1 is for wheel and belt systems, 2 is for abrasive blast systems, 3 is for mass finishing systems, 4 is for liquid methods, and 5 is for temperature modification systems. Any of these 6 system can be used together or combined to create a 2 digit number system. Example of the latter is, if you use an abrasive blast system with water you get a 24 water hone type system.
Now in addition to the first 2 digits of a technology system, there is an additional single digit number to indicate the amount of the burr or negative material removal is expected. There are again 6 numbers assigned to this category. They are: 0 for polishing type applications were no noticeable material is removed, 2 is for minor burrs or sharp edges that can cut one’s finger, wire, or tubing, 3 is for material remove of from .010 to .020 in size, 4 is for material removal from .020 to .030, and 5 is for material removal from .030 to 040. Any material removal greater than 040 would not be recommended for a secondary operational system; rather, the problem should be addressed by the preceding primary machine system.
The last part of this classification system is another single number of 0 to 3. These numbers identify where the desired surface modification is required. The number 0 is again for polishing type applications were no noticeable material is removed. The number 1 is for primarily outside dimensions. The number 2 is for working primarily inside dimensions. The number 3 is working all surface dimensions equally or as good as possible.
So with all of the above group numbers in the proper sequence, you can classify and categorize every type of surface finishing machine made or will be made in a 3 or 4 digit numbering system. Originally, I used the technology number first, followed by the size or the burr or surface modification removal number, followed by the location. With this information, I was able to identify and categorize 16 different types ofmechanical deburring machine systems or technologies in use that are designed to remove material and/or do surface finishing.
Although I am proposing an extension to a classification system, I don’t know enough to include a proper numbering system as I did with the negative surface finishing system I developed. Basically, on the B2 positive added value treatments to parts, I envision at least 3 categories. One would encompass coatings or painting and then there would be at least 2 classifications for plating. Of the plating systems, there would be negative and positive plating. Meaning, one system would treat the micro structure of the material being worked and the other would put an inorganic film on the part.
Each value added system has advantages and disadvantages. What those advantages are or how they are applicable to the part is important, but I am not sure what criteria is needed to classify them. Probably, the amount of oxidation protection offered to the part is one criteria; however, not all parts can be worked or treated equally with the same process and/or the same results; therefore, a sub-category might be necessary for ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
If no one or nothing comes of this suggestion, then at least the A1 and the B2 designation will definitely add to and/or help identify the differences in surface finishing technologies or systems.
 AESF meeting in Chicago, Il 6/2000
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