GEM Microfinishing Frequently Asked Questions
Many different terms are used for Microfinishing. Polishing, Superfinishing, finishing, and mirror finishing, also sanding or finishing.
1) What is Microfinishing?
Microfinishing is a finishing process that will produce the surface finish you need. A GEM Microfinisher is a productive and cost-effective method to polish to any Ra, Rz, Rmax, surface finish parameters. Microfinishing is the most consistent method of obtaining these surface finishes.
2) How does Microfinishing work?
The Microfinishing Polishing process uses precision coated abrasives called Microfinishing Film. Microfinishing Films are available from 0.05 micron to 180-micron mineral size. (60 mesh up to 10,000 mesh) The micron graded abrasives are applied to the workpiece in a constantly indexing fashion. The abrasive consumption (film speed) is typically 25mm per minute. All the surface areas of even a large roll are always in contact with new fresh abrasive. The micron grade of abrasive used determines the surface finish.
3) What materials can be Micro finished?
Microfinishing can polish any material: soft rubber and urethane to HVOF hard tungsten carbide. Stainless steel, copper, chrome plating, ceramic coating and cast iron
4) What types of parts or rolls can be Microfinished?
Any size part can be Microfinished. Fuel injector parts, transmission components, shock absorber rods, valve stems and many other small components. Paper mills are Microfinishing rolls that can be up to 5-meter diameter and 14-meter long. Exceptionally large Copper foil drums and Yankee dryer drums are also finished using this process.
5) Can I afford to implement Microfinishing into my production process?
If a very consistent surface finish is required on your parts, this process is the most economical method. It is productive, cost efficient and easy to operate. Maintenance of machinery is extremely low, even in operations that are running 24 / 7.
6) What types of Microfinishing machinery are available?
Any company can incorporate Microfinishing into their operation. Attachments can be mounted on any lathe or cylindrical grinder. These attachments are available from a 2” abrasive width up to 24” abrasive width. Many styles of production machines are also available, including through feed and plunge Centerless, center driven, and turnkey roll finishing and custom machines built to a customer’s specification.
7) Is this Microfinishing a recent technology that is still in the experimental stage?
Microfinishing has been used for over 40 years. The automotive industry has been using this process to Microfinish camshafts and crankshafts for many years. Steel mills and paper mills have been Microfinishing rolls for over 40 years.
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