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How to Produce a Visual Blasted Finish

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Q. Can you recommend a process that can give a visual blasted finish?

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Q. We are vibratory finishing an aluminum part and then blasting it to achieve a uniform pre-anodized finish. Can you recommend a process that can give a visual blasted finish in our vibratory machine to eliminate the blasting process? 

A. Vibratory finishing can produce a visual finish very close to the tight patterned satin reflective blasted finish. Certain vibratory medias, compounds and machines are required. 

The high-energy centrifugal barrel works best, but vibratory machines also get close. 

The two types of medias that work best in obtaining a blasted finish are a random shape 10- to 16-grit ceramic aluminum oxide media, or a smaller ¼ " to 3/8" polyester plastic cone or pyramid-shaped preformed media.

The random media works the best with both vibratory and centrifugal barrel machines and tends to lodge in holes. The smaller, pre-formed polyester media also works in a centrifugal barrel and vibratory processes. The vibratory compounds affect different surface brightness. 

 

 


Originally published in the January 2017 issue. 

 

 

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