All metals have their own unique properties and their own strengths and weaknesses. Surface treatments can help to improve metals in a variety of ways.
What is surface treatment?
Surface treatment is a process that utilises various technologies in order to modify the properties of a component’s surface and optimise its performance. It essentially involves ‘priming’ or preparing the metal for its individual, specific usage. The process can be divided into four different categories: surface coating technology, surface modification technology, surface alloying technology, and surface conversion film technology.
Surface coating technology includes thermal spraying, vacuum plating, electroplating, and vapour deposition (either physical or chemical). These technologies are used to add a thin protective layer to a wide array of items.
Surface modification technology includes surface quenching, laser surface strengthening, shot peening, rolling, wire drawing, and polishing. These techniques can strengthen the surface and applications include strengthening mechanical parts such as crankshafts, camshafts, gears, and cylinder liners, in addition to surface descaling.
The main surface alloying technology is chemical surface heat treatment. This treatment alters the surface at a chemical level, which, in turn, changes its characteristics. It can improve surface hardness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance.
Surface conversion film technology includes blackening, phosphating, and anodic oxidation. Applications include the protective treatment of aircraft and automotive parts and the decorative treatment of common hardware products.
Which materials can be surface treated?
What are the benefits of surface treatments?
Surface treatments can provide metals with additional useful properties such as durability, extra strength, and corrosion resistance. They can also significantly improve their appearance.
If you would like to know more about surface treatments, there are some useful resources available online, such as the examples seen here www.poeton.co.uk/standard-treatments/.
Who uses metal surface treatment?
There are numerous industries that utilise metal surface treatment, including the automotive industry, the medical industry, the construction industry, the electrical industry, the aerospace industry, and many more.
What items is it used for?
The range of components that are surface treated before being manufactured is vast and includes anything from spectacle frames through to nuts, bolts, tools, and many other common items.
Surface treatment of metals is an extremely effective way of optimising their resistance to water and corrosion.