Surface Engineering Delivers Protection against Future Damage
When surface engineering, or the coating of parts and products with protective materials, is used, a multitude of benefits result. The lifespan of a part can be greatened due to an increase in its structural integrity. Overall engineer productivity will go up. Protecting parts, machinery, equipment, and products from corrosion, abrasion, and wear is an essential part of almost every industry in existence.
Applying a Surface Finish
To a certain degree, the process of surface coating will replicate the surface finish. As an example, some surfaces could be replicated by plating a surface. In some cases, polishing or post grinding may be necessary. Regardless, it is essential for the coating vendor and the engineer to be in detailed communication. This is the only way to assure a proper manufacturing process and efficient design. Additionally, better part performance, reduced costs, and faster product cycle time will result from communication that is exacting and precise.
Considering Coating Thickness
One of the primary considerations for engineers should be coating thickness; this is particularly important where a requirement of tight tolerances is present. Each process of protective coating application has precise tolerances and thicknesses in which those coatings should be applied. After the coating is applied, parts might require machining, depending on the process that is selected. This is not always the case, however. Whenever possible, in order to accommodate coating tolerances and thicknesses, parts should be pre-sized by engineers. Pre-sizing is particularly important when threads need protective coating. This is due, in part, to the tight tolerances in this situation.
Will the Parts Be Racked?
Before the coating process can take place, some parts must be racked. Why is this an important consideration? During racking, sections of the uncoated part are bound to come into contact with the rack. Additionally, this racking process may end up marking the part. Ideally, during the coating process, a part should be suspended; but this is not always possible. Larger pieces must sit on a rack. A critical consideration is the positioning of the racks. It is also important to look at the points of contact. Care must be taken in order for a uniform coating to be achieved.
Consider the Configuration of the Part in Question
Some processes, to generate the coating desired, require an electrical current which could end up in a thicker coat. Other parts, such as those having sharp corners, require special coating thicknesses which are minimal. Burning can result in certain areas of metal that are thinner on a specific part. And, of course, the size of the part must be considered as well. These are all configurations that come into play when discussing coating methods and materials to be used.
Additionally, base metal choices should be a definite consideration and discussed between vendors and manufacturers.
Not all areas of a part are to be coated, in some cases. This issue is going to require masking and will lead to a labor-intensive effort. To avoid additional costs that will take place in this event, part designs that allow the entire piece to be coated are preferred.
For more than 70 years, A&A Coatings has been providing surface engineering to address many of the key challenges found in any number of industrial settings. When it comes to preventing corrosion and protecting parts, machinery, and products against abrasion and wear, we are leaders in our field. We provide various methods through which companies can protect their bottom line by reducing or eliminating downtime due to breakdowns and crippling maintenance costs.
Contact us today to find out how surface engineering can benefit your company.