Metal Fabrication: Finishing Techniques for Steel Products

26 February 2016
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog

Steel is a popular metal material in the fabrication of numerous custom commodities for commercial purposes. You should choose this carbon and iron alloy when producing appliances, equipment parts for sale, construction components and even hardware products. The benefits of the material include good intrinsic strength, durability, resistance to distortion and low costs. If you choose to use steel for your business manufacturing project, it is critical to think about the finishing method. Basically, this is the operation that will determine the nature of the external appearance. Here are the main steel finishing techniques that you should inquire about from your metal fabricator


If you want your custom steel products to have a uniform but matter texture, you should request for sandblasting services. This type of finishing technique is more accurately referred to as abrasive blasting. As implied, the process involves propelling particles or beads of abrasive material on the surface of the steel commodity. The particles under high pressure can be made from different materials and they include steel shots, metal pellets and even sand. The media will smooth the outer surface and remove most of the fabrication blemishes.

Buff Polishing

Buff polishing is the most suitable finishing process if you want commodities with a smooth and non-textured surface. Generally, a specialised machine is utilised during this step, so the technique is not labour-intensive. This equipment has a wheel with a cloth which revolves when in operation. The steel product will be brought into contact with this will, and the cloth will rub and buff the metal surface. This process usually results in a glossy sheen, so you should select the method for decorative items, particularly those fabricated using stainless steel. Note that the wheel cannot buff recessed features or fragile commodities.

Metal Grinding

A metal grinding machine is designed to use friction, compression and attrition forces to eliminate blemishes from the surface of metal commodities. It is highly suitable for high-strength carbon steel which might not respond to gentler techniques. There are different grinding machines which are intended to produce varying levels of smoothness. Therefore, request for sample finished surfaces from your fabricator to determine whether the grinding level offered is enough for your products. You should also inquire about vibratory finishing equipment; these are fabricated for deburring and removing sharp edges for a cleaner finish.

Steel also requires additional outer treatment for improved aesthetics and to prevent rusting when exposed to moisture. Therefore, consider electing other finishing techniques like powder-coating, hot blackening and even metal plating.