Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Customers use many different terms to denote Microfinishing.
It is called polishing, superfinishing and mirror finishing.
Some also call it sanding or just finishing.
1) What is Microfinishing?
Microfinishing is a process that allows you to achieve virtually any surface finish required for their application. This process is capable of productively and cost efficiently achieving any Ra, Rz, Rmax, Bearing Area and other surface finish parameters that could called out on a drawing. The Microfinishing process is also the most consistent method of obtaining these specifications.
2) How does it work?
The Microfinishing process utilizes a very consistent film backed coated abrasive called Microabrasives that are available from 0.05 micron to 180 micron mineral size. The abrasives are presented to the workpiece in a constantly indexing fashion. Although the abrasive is moving very slowly (approx 1" per minute) each part or all areas of a large roll are always in contact with new fresh abrasive. The grade of abrasive used will determine the surface finish.
3) What materials can be Microfinished with this process?
Microfinishing has been used to finish any material that you could think of from soft rubber and urethane to very hard tungsten carbide. Stainless steel, copper, chrome plating, ceramic coating and cast iron are just a few of the materials that can be successfully Microfinished.
4) What types of parts or rolls can be Microfinished?
Virtually any size part can be Microfinished. Companies are finishing fuel injector parts, transmission components, shock absorber rods, valve stems and many other small components. Paper mills are Microfinishing rolls that can be up to 60" in diameter and 400" long. Very large Copper foil drums and Yankee dryer drums are also finished using this process.
5) Can I afford to implement Microfinishing into my production process?
If a very consistent surface finish is required on your parts, this process is the most economical method. It is productive, cost efficient and easy to operate. Maintenance on machinery is very low, even in operations that are running 24 / 7.
6) What types of Microfinishing machinery are available?
Any company can incorporate Microfinishing into their operation. Attachments that can be mounted on any lathe or cylindrical grinder are available for Microfinishing rolls and other large parts. These attachments are available from a 2" abrasive width up to 24" abrasive width. Many styles of production machines are also available, including thru feed and plunge Centerless, center driven, turnkey roll finishing and custom machines built to a customerâ€™s specification.
7) Is this a new technology that is still in the experimental stage?
Absolutely not! The automotive industry has been using this process to Microfinish camshafts and crankshafts for many years. Steel mills and paper mills have be Microfinishing rolls for over 20 years. Many other customers have been using Microfinishing for quite a while. The process may seem new to people that are just now looking to achieve finer finishes or obtaining more consistency with their surface finish requirements.