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FAQ

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What is the difference between shot blasting and shot peening?

Shot blasting is used primarily to improve a surface finish, whether that improvement means removing rust or preparing a part for coating. Shot peening is used primarily to remove residual stresses from a part, therefore strengthening it, and enhancing the shelf life. Note that in order to properly shot peen a part, a peening spec is required as it gives us a target to work towards.

 

How do you remove rust from metal parts?

We have a number of options. Shot blasting, ultrasonic cleaning, vibratory finishing and tumbling can all be used to remove rust. In the end, it comes down to part size, composition and to the condition of the part, or more importantly how badly it has deteriorated. Note that rust is a tough one to quote on, because until we actually see what we are up against, we really don’t know how we will process it, or how long it will take.

 

Can you shot blast stainless steel?

The ideal way to blast stainless is to use stainless steel shot. Latem only uses a carbon based steel shot. A way around this is to have us blast your SS, then send the parts out for passivation, a process that will remove the carbon build up that has been pounded into the stainless during the blasting process. Without this passivation, your stainless steel parts run the risk of rusting.

 

Are you only a ‘mass’ finishing job shop?

We have definitely made a name for ourselves in the mass finishing business. Each piece of equipment is set up to process a mass amount of parts at once. In any given month, Latem will process between 10 and 15 million parts. We do, however, have a number of customers that rely on us to process much smaller volumes. This is where our minimum charge comes into play, as it helps us cover the set-up and process expenses that would be incurred.

 

Why do I pay a minimum charge?

In many cases, whether you give us 10 parts or a 100 parts, we need to run our equipment for the same length of time to achieve a desired finish. The minimum charge is required to ensure we recoup that expense.

 

What is the difference between vibratory finishing and tumbling?

Vibratory finishing uses either a bowl or tub, filled with media, which along with your parts turns in a corkscrew rotation as it moves around the bowl/tub. This media, combined with Latem compounds, brushes up against your parts to achieve the desired finish. Tumbling is a barrel process, much like a cement mixer, in which the barrel turns at a very high rate of speed. It is a part-on-part process, and it is this contact, along with Latem compounds, that allows us to reach our goal.

 

Do you polish by hand?

We do not. We have two automated techniques to polish parts. One is a vibratory bowl where parts are mixed with mass media. The other is a high speed barrel tumbling process, which again uses media to reach a polished finish. In both cases, these Latem processes are used to reach a mirror finish.

 

What polishing finishes can you achieve?

Our equipment is set up to achieve a mirror finish. Brushed and/or specific numbered finishes are best achieved by hand, which Latem does not provide.

 

Are you an automotive supplier only?

Better than 90% of the business we see comes from Ontario’s automotive sector. This being said, we also see significant volumes from agriculture and heavy equipment, furniture, recreation, home improvement material, military and aerospace. We also process our share of one-off’ parts for prototypes and samples.

 

What is your shot blasting capacity?

We have tumble blasters, a belt blaster, table set-ups and hang lines. We can process parts as small as 1” x 1” or parts as long as twenty feet x five feet high.

 

What is your vibratory finishing capacity?

Multiple set-ups, each with a different media configuration designed to achieve different finishes. Latem uses both vibratory bowls and tubs, and can manage parts up to four feet in length.

 

How big are your ultrasonic tanks?

Latem has two ultrasonic set ups. One, which uses baskets that are 45” long, is used for general cleaning. The other, smaller set-up with 18” baskets, is used when a cleaning spec is required.

 

Are you able to achieve a cleaning spec?

We have been working with our customers to achieve a variety of cleaning specs for quite some time. When we come up against one we have not seen, our team of Engineers works closely with our machine operators to ensure we have the equipment and the processes to meet the customer’s requirements.

 

What are my rust inhibitor options?

Latem manufactures its own water soluble rust inhibitor. We also bring in an outside water based inhibitor from Henkel. In addition to these options, we have a few oil based inhibitors, that will give your parts a longer rust-free shelf life.

 

What guarantee do you provide with your rust inhibitors?

There are no guarantees anywhere with a water based RI as there are way too many factors that can affect the performance of the inhibitor once the parts leave our floor. Water based RI’s are really only designed to get the parts back to your location for quick assembly. This being said, we have known some customers to get a few months with our water soluble inhibitors. The oil inhibitors are a different story. While we know of no actual guarantee, three to six months is not unheard of. We even have an oil based inhibitor that is known to last more than 12 months. Things to consider here are how long is the product sitting around, and where will it be sitting? How is it being transported, truck, boat, etc?