The optimal metal finishing chosen for an application can significantly influence the performance and success of a project. When selecting the finish for a part or product, it is important to keep in mind what best suits the specific use case. The following blog post provides an overview of the different finishes available, including their properties and typical uses, to facilitate proper finish selection for industrial applications.
No. 1 Finish: Furnace Components
Achieving a No. 1 Finish involves hot rolling stainless steel—i.e., heating and then rolling it. Once the steel alloy has been hot rolled, it is annealed to produce a single, uniform microstructure. This process helps the material to meet mechanical property requirements set out by project designers and engineers.
Typical applications of No. 1 Finish include turbine and furnace components, such as casings, heat exchangers, linings, stacks, and supports.
No. 2B Finish: General Purpose Steel
A No. 2B Finish is typically applied on general-purpose steel to create an aesthetically appealing reflective surface that resembles a cloudy mirror. This finish finds application in a wide range of products, including the following:
- Industrial equipment, such as for the baking, chemical, paper, pharmaceutical, plumbing, refrigeration, and sewage industries
- Commercial equipment, such as appliances, flatware, wheel covers, etc.
Bright Annealed BA/2BA Finish: Fully Mirrored Surfaces
Bright annealed BA/2BA finishes provide a part or product surface similar to a highly polished mirror without the cost associated with producing fully mirrored and rolled surfaces. The low-cost of these finishes makes them suitable for use in mass production operations in the commercial sector. Some examples of products that typically use these finishes are:
No. 3 Finish: High-End Commercial or Lab Application
No. 3 finishes often find application in high-end commercial or laboratory operations. This finish is moderately reflective, easy to keep clean, and aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, it’s simple to polish the finish mechanically and, if desired, gradually finer abrasives may be used during the process to create surface patterns that mimic the appearance of mechanical abrasion. Some products commonly finished in this manner include:
- Brewing equipment
- Scientific lab tools
- Kitchen appliances
- Food processing systems
American Industrial: Your Metal Finishing Partner
At American Industrial Company (AIC), we have almost three decades of experience serving as a quality manufacturer. We specialize in providing complete turnkey manufacturing solutions, including prototype design, precision metal stamping, and optimal metal finishing. By partnering with us for their metal part needs, customers benefit from our:
- Centralized facility
- Streamlined operations
- Faster turnaround
- Competitive prices
- Superior customer service
- Quality products
For additional information on our finishing or other manufacturing capabilities, contact us today. One of our friendly and knowledgeable team members will be happy to speak with you about your upcoming project.
Laser cutting is one of the most commonly used processes in metal fabrication as it offers many advantages over traditional techniques. Laser cutting is a versatile and reliable process that creates precise, flawless parts while keeping lead times short. AIC provides high quality laser cutting services for sheet metal and other materials to meet our customers’ metal stamping and forming needs.
What is Laser Cutting?
Laser cutting is a thermal-based procedure that utilizes a high-powered laser beam to direct heat and cut through metal with extremely tight tolerances using computer numerical control (CNC). As the guided laser moves across the surface, it vaporizes, melts, or burns material away and separates the workpiece from the excess sheet metal to create metal components and parts.
The focus of the laser allows for a smaller heat-affected area and less thermal warping than traditional methods, making it more accurate and efficient. This process also enables very high surface quality, so finishing processes are rarely needed.
Laser cutting can be performed on a variety of materials, including:
- Stainless steel
- Mild steel
What are the benefits of Laser Cutting?
Laser cutting offers many benefits over traditional cutting methods, including:
- Laser cutting has tight tolerances of +/-0.1 mm, which allows for a high level of precision without the need for after-treatment.
- Laser cutting can perform separate cuts without exchanging tools, making it suitable for cutting different shapes and intricate designs within the same material thickness.
- Tight tolerances enable the production of highly uniform end pieces, which is extremely ideal for large volume orders.
- Cost-Effectiveness. Laser cutting significantly reduces the need for finishing processes to correct defects such as thermal warping and burrs. This reduces the need for additional tooling and processes that can slow down production and increase costs.
- Laser cutting is a non-contact process, reducing the risk for accidents and enhancing safety.
- Laser cutting is a much faster process when compared to traditional cutting methods, making it especially suitable for complex cuts.
Why should you choose American Industrial Company?
AIC has been in the metal stamping and forming industry for over thirty years. Our broad range of capabilities and highly skilled team can bring life to any project, from design through full-scale production.
To accommodate all laser cutting needs, AIC uses the VyTek FiberCAB 44 laser cutting system. This 3,000-watt laser is one of the most advanced machines of its kind and brings speed, efficiency, and precision to all metal cuts. Our VyTek FiberCAB 44 is accurate enough to cleanly remove stamped parts from the sheet metal with no need for secondary tooling processes like deburring.
Due to the versatility and power of our laser cutting machines, our services are applicable across diverse industries, including:
AIC’s preferred laser cutting method is the melt and blow method. With this method, a high-pressure gas jet is directed through a nozzle to blast small molten particles away from the workpiece. This method has lower power requirements than other forms of laser cutting and produces a fine kerf without thermal warping or burrs.
Contact American Industrial Company About our Laser Cutting Services
AIC specializes in providing high quality laser cutting services for our customers across a range of industries. Whether you are looking to make metal components that require intricate cuts, bolster production volume, or tighten tolerances, we believe that our precision laser cutting services can bring you real value at a great cost. To learn more about our services, please contact us today.