metal polishing

Comparing The Different Methods of Metal Polishing

The technique for metal surface polishing is one of the greatest ways to make pieces look good. With a polished surface finish, these components perform better and last longer. Over time, metal surfaces frequently discolor. The surfaces of such metals often become compromised by exposure to high temperatures and wear levels. A polished metal component, however, is shielded from contaminants and oxidation. Here are some of the most common polishing methods for metals in addition to their advantages and disadvantages:

Chemical Polishing

The protruding portion of a material surface is preferentially dissolved in a chemical media during this polishing surface finish. After the procedure, a smooth surface is desired. The chemical solution plus galvanic couples impact the metal surface during the chemical polishing. However, chemical polishing often results in the micro-roughness component being polished and smoothed. Additionally, the top layer of the element dissolves as a result.

Mechanical Polishing

This polishing technique relies on cutting or plastic deformation of the material’s surface. The surface is then made smooth by eliminating polished convexities. Sandpaper, flat wheels, abrasive sticks, and other materials are frequently used in mechanical polishing. Using specialized abrasive tools and pushing them on the surface of a treated workpiece is how ultra-precision polishing is done. The entire procedure rotates quickly in a polishing solution that contains abrasives. 

Electrolytic Polishing

This kind of polishing is sometimes referred to as electrolytic polishing. You could occasionally hear anodic polishing. Electrolytic and anodic polishing relate to a polished surface finish that operates similarly to chemical polishing. Protrusions on metal surfaces are dissolved using chemical solutions as part of this procedure to obtain a better surface finish. The cathode reaction does not impact electrolytic polishing, unlike chemical polishing. By polishing the metal component, extra materials are removed. Doing so smoothens the part’s troughs and micro-peaks, lessens surface roughness, and enhances surface polish.

Reasons Why Electropolishing is Better Than Mechanical Polishing

  • Because of the higher densities at high spots, burrs may be removed much more quickly. As a result, the final product has a smooth, clean surface.
  • It shrinks the material’s surface area to a tiny size. As a result, there is a general decrease in product adhesion and contaminant buildup.
  • It enhances the machined part’s appearance. Surfaces on tiny scales are cleaned and smoothed when electropolishing is done correctly.

Contact Markham Metals Today!

Markham Metals is the most trusted metal service business in the New England region. There are different metal polishing methods, each with pros and cons for the metal it is used. However, it needs considerable attention and decision-making in choosing the right metal polishing method for the metal in question. For questions on our metal polishing services or information on our products and services, call us today at 978-658-1121 or contact us directly on our site.

A worker polishes a steel rod using a red polishing tool. You can see several sparks flying from underneath it.

Metal Polishing vs. Metal Galvanizing

When it comes to the different ways that you can bend, shape and form metal, there are no two processes that are the same. Metalworking services are usually done with a specific goal in mind, and with each goal comes a specific process tied to it. However, that doesn’t mean that different metalworking services share no benefits! Metal polishing and metal galvanizing, while two entirely different processes, can give your metal similar performance improvements. So, what similarities and differences do these two metalworking practices share? We go into detail below!

Corrosion Resistance

Take a look at the technology and appliances around you. What’s one thing that they all have in common? They use corrosion resistance to properly function! Galvanizing your metal and polishing it are both proven ways of increasing this trait. Both of these metalworking processes involve adding a protective coating to the metal that gives it further protection from outside elements. The only difference between the two processes is how it gets to that corrosion resistant final product.

Increased Durability

If you look at how both of these processes work, the fact that they share this trait should be a no-brainer. After all, adding a protective coating to your metal gives it a shield against the elements that decrease its lifespan! Metal polishing and galvanizing are both proven to create metals that are durable in long-lasting applications. However, galvanized metal tends to be more durable than polished metal. Galvanized metal has a stronger protective coating than polished metal, which encourages its use in building materials among other applications.

Unique Traits

Though these metalworking processes share certain characteristics, there are plenty of areas which set them apart. Galvanizing metal gives it a more complete coating of protection, even covering those areas that are inaccessible or recessed. Metal polishing can’t offer the same protection, but it can offer a much greater look and feel. It can sharpen its color and increase how bright and shiny it appears. This is part of the reason why it’s a common practice in the automotive industry. In short, galvanized metal is stronger and polished metal is cleaner. However, both offer a solid layer of protection.

Metalworking at Markham Metals

Whether you need your metal polished, galvanized, cut or shaped, there’s no better place to turn than Markham Metals! We’ve spent years offering a variety of metalworking services to our clients to get them ready for any application. We also carry our own in-house line of sheet metal products! To get your metal ready for practical use, click here to contact us directly!