Important Metal Finishing Terms The following terms describe helpful metal finishing processes to know when shopping for equipment and supplies:
Electroplating: Electroplating is a process used by manufacturers to coat a metal part with another metal. Electroplating machines use an electric field to deposit ions of the coating metal on the surface of a part.
Anodizing: Anodizing is a process used to finish aluminum parts. It gives aluminum a hard, wear resistant coating. Also, dyes can be used during anodizing to create custom colored products. Most anodizing is completed by manufacturers, but simple equipment is available for hobbyists to anodize parts at home.
Chrome Plating: Chrome plating is a type of electroplating often used on automotive parts. A part is finished with a thin layer of chrome to make it harder, corrosion resistant and shiny in appearance. Also, chrome is easy to clean and polish back to a new appearance.
Powder Coating: Powder coating is a metal painting process that uses a powder rather than liquid finish. The coating is applied using equipment like electrostatic guns then heated to form a durable skin. This process is used on metal parts for bicycles, vehicles, and many home appliances.
Teflon: Teflon finishes are resistant to extremes in temperature, water and sticking. These properties make Teflon products useful in many applications including cooking. Manufacturers apply Teflon coatings in both powder and liquid form depending on the product and machinery available.
Galvanizing: Galvanizing is a process used to apply a zinc coating to steel or iron parts to protect against rust. Galvanized metals are used for many purposes including fencing, car parts, and piping. The most common method of galvanizing is to dip parts in zinc that has been heated to a liquid state.