Why Is Undercut Pre-Machining Performed?

When people refer to the term undercut, they’re speaking of a recessed surface that is specially executed – at least when it comes to manufacturing. In the thermal spray business, many parts or substrates need to be prepared before they can be coated. There are numerous methods of preparation with various determining factors. When a part needs to be turned in order for sufficient coating space to be provided, this is indicated by the term “undercutting”. What is turning? It is a form of machining that refers to the process of material removal.

Here, we’re going to talk about undercut pre-machining as a whole.


Sometimes we need to create axisymmetric parts. To cut away unwanted material for the creation of such parts, we use the turning process. We can create virtually anything we want with the right equipment – i.e., fixtures, cutting tools, and other turning machines and components. We are able to create threads, tapers, diameter steps, grooves, contoured surfaces, holes, and more on parts or workpieces.

Before a part can be coated, undercut pre-machining must be performed to remove any apparent erosion, corrosion, wear, and more. Many parts have existing damage and that’s why they’re being coated. In order for the repair process to be successful, undercutting to remove damage is required. This also helps make sure that the coating’s finish is the equivalent of the undercut depth, and vice versa.

Undercut Pre-Machining Capabilities

The process we use for undercut pre-machining is compatible with literally every industrial machining material used throughout every industry. Considered an excellent tolerance, we can typically create a tolerance of ± 0.001 in. One of the highlights of this process is that, in order to create both thin-wall cylindrical shapes and solid cylindrical shapes, only a very brief lead time is needed.

Where engine components, shafts, and numerous other machine components are concerned, possibly the best method for rotational parts is undercut pre-machining.

The Process Requires Special Equipment

Various designs and sizes of lathes are used for the execution of an undercut pre-machining process. Additionally utilized are turning machines that are both horizontal and vertical. For this reason, large diameter pieces are never a problem for us at A&A Coatings. We can work with both. To improve the accuracy of the parts we turn, computer control units are utilized. We preprogram specific commands into the CNC (computer numerical control) lathe. In this manner, we can achieve the highest precision possible.

Computerized turning machines operate with the same basics as do non-computerized machines. Essential components, or main components, that are involved in feeding the work piece, cutting the work piece, rotating the work piece, and more, include the following:

  • Tailstock assembly
  • Carriage
  • Headstock assembly
  • Cross slide
  • Bed
  • Compound
  • Turret

What Materials Can Be Processed?

The undercut pre-machining process can ground and turn any number of materials. In fact, most metals and plastics are included in the wide array of materials that can be processed. Here are a few materials that can be turned and ground during the undercut pre-machining process:

  • Nickel
  • Titanium
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Thermoset plastics
  • Steel

Selecting the Right Material

Several factors need to be looked at when the topic of material choice comes up. This means taking into consideration the cost, wear resistance, strength, and machineability of the material you’re considering. The best materials for the turning and grinding process will likely possess the following characteristics:

  • Require a minimum of force and power to turn.
  • Result in a surface finish that is considered superior.
  • Promote extended tool life.
  • Provide the collection of chips in a trouble-free manner.

The above described process, machinery, material characteristics, etc., are all according to our way of doing things at A&A Coatings. We employ the latest technology, best practice techniques, high-quality materials, and more, to see to it that our clients receive the best services. If you would like to find out how our thermal spray process, grinding and finishing capabilities, and other services we offer can be of assistance in your industry, contact us today.

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