Reducing Processing Steps for a High Luster Finish


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Q. We are brightening aluminum parts with six-millimeter microbrite-porcelain polishing balls. We first run a ceramic cut media to reduce our cutting lines and then we run a plastic media to smooth the roughness of the ceramic finish. This gives us a smooth finish to run the final microbrite for the bright finish. Is there a process that can eliminate one of our cut steps and how do we get a little brighter microbrite finish? –A.B.

A. There is a polyester plastic media, Z1-zirconium plastic that cuts almost like a ceramic but give you a smooth finish to burnish off of.  You will have to run the Z1 cut cycle approximately 20 percent longer than the combined time of your current two cut cycles.

The Z1 weighs 100 pounds per cubic foot instead of the normal polyester plastic of 65 pounds. This combined with the zirconium abrasive will give you a good cut and finish.

To improve your luster, try a mix of three- and four-millimeter microbrite porcelain balls. This size mix gives a higher luster than a six-millimeter. Also try another burnishing compound; compound can make a big difference.