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The Benefits of Accelerated Surface Finishing (ASF)

By: Mr. J. Jeffrey Bell, Precision Finishing, Inc.

Precision Finishing has been servicing the metal working industry since 1955 with vibratory equipment, media and chemistry. Since the vibratory process was introduced in the 50's you could say we have grown up with it. Our uniqueness is that we not only sell the equipment and media, for over 50 years we have been manufacturing our own Chemtrol line of vibratory compounds and performing vibratory job shop services all under one roof. This unique combination as enabled us to become an expert in process development for the vibratory finishing process.

Since its evolution the vibratory finishing process has provided an isotropic non directional finish which improves the surface finish and edges of machined components. The improved surface enhances any subsequent final finish in addition to increasing the overall strength and condition of the component. The manufacturing process inherently creates stress risers and vibratory finishing reduces or removes them. Because the vibratory process provides a repeatable, uniform finish from part to part at a very reasonable cost, it is widely recognized as the first step of finishing a machined component which has deburring, radiusing and/or surface improvement requirements.

Our Chemtrol ASF product introduces an accelerant into the vibratory finishing process which has enabled us to refine the surface even further than conventional tumbling. Accelerated Surface Finishing, ASF combines the benefits of low RMS, non directional vibratory finishing with chemical accelerants. This process works very well on ferrous and S. Steel alloys. The chemical accelerants significantly reduce the process time for hardened surfaces compared to mechanical abrasive methods. This reduced process time enables you to achieve a very low surface roughness without heavy metal removal and radiusing of the part.

How Accelerated Finishing Works

ASF uses a surface active compound that forms a soft film on the surface of the metal part. Nonabrasive media removes the soft film from the high or peaks of the part surface leaving the valleys untouched. The soft film is removed, exposing a new metal surface which will reform the soft film. This continuous forming and removal of the soft coating accelerates the finishing of the metal surface. The peaks are removed (high media contact) while the valleys are untouched (no media contact)

Advantages of Accelerated Surface Finishing

  • Achieve low RMS finishes without heavy metal removal or radiusing
  • Achieve negative skew values by removing surface peaks while retaining micro valleys for lubricant retention
  • Reduce friction, lower torque requirements and minimize surface wear thereby reducing operation temperatures
  • Refine surfaces to mirror-like brightness and very low surface roughness
  • Precision components are imparted with a "Run-In" surface condition
  • Increase fatigue life

The racing industry has seen dramatic improvements in fatigue life, RMS improvement for shedding oil, reduced friction and thus operating temperatures and minimize wear for many racing components which come under stress or operate in high temperature areas. Parts such as cam shafts, connecting rods, gears, ring and pinions and transmission components have all seen dramatic improvements as a result of the ASF process.

For more information regarding the Chemtrol ASF process and view a video of the process visit www.precisionfinishinginc.com or bring your part and come see us at the PRI show.

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