The Various Kinds of Finishes Available for Fabricated Sheet Metal Products

Posted on: 3 October 2018

Once sheet metal fabrication goes through the rolling, forming, bending and cutting processes, finishing is done to signal completion of the fabrication process. The primary reason for giving sheet metal products a finish is to provide them with a protective coating and an attractive look. Sheet metal parts or components come in different finish types, and it's important to be familiar with these finishes so you can choose the right finish for your sheet metal products.

Here is a look at some of the common types of finishes available for fabricated sheet metal.

Paint coating

Although its application has been technologised these days, wet paint has been the traditional choice of finish for sheet metal. A majority of sheet metal fabricators use a sprayer, pump or other pressurised vessel or equipment to apply a uniform coating of the wet paint with the desired thickness. With advancements in modern painting technology, sheet metal can come in baked-on coatings that last longer. Wet paint finishes are ideal in applications where a thinner coat than other types of coating is desired. It is also a cost-effective option, especially for prototypes.

Powder coating

While wet paint finishes are an economical option, they may not be ideal in situations where a tougher, more resilient coating is required. Powder-coated finishes provide superior resistance to scratches, corrosion and many other elements that would wear down paint finishes faster. This is because powder coatings are dense and hard, and they can hold out against the elements much more effectively than coats of liquid paint. Powder coating is ideal for projects that require thicker coatings at a relatively affordable price. 

Plating 

Plating involves depositing a layer of another metal onto the surface of sheet metal in order to add certain desired properties to the substrate metal. This type of finishing can be used to increase resistance against rust and corrosion, reduce friction, limit wear, improve paint adhesion and also increase aesthetics. Some of the metals that are commonly used as sacrificial metals for sheet metal fabrication include zinc, gold, chrome, tin and nickel.

Anodising

This is an electrochemical process by which an anodic oxide coating is introduced to add a decorative effect on the surface of sheet metal or to protect the substrate metal from the elements. While this type of finish is predominantly used by aluminium fabricators, other metals, such as titanium and magnesium, can also benefit from it.

Ultimately, the best type of finish for your sheet metal parts will depend on your specific industrial application. So, consider talking to your preferred sheet metal fabricator about your specific needs.

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Ian's Guide to the Industrial Sector

Hi! My name is Ian and this is my guide to the industrial sector. I do not work in the sector myself but ever since I was a boy, I have loved the idea of seeing heavy industry at work, manufacturing the goods and products our country needs. My passion started when I visited my dad's workplace when I was a boy. My dad worked in a large industrial plant on the outskirts of Perth. I was so impressed at the sound and the large machines and the energy of the place. Although I didn't get a job in the industrial sector, I still take a very keen interest in it.

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