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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.

 

Shot blasting or peening Stainless Steel?

 

Parts can be blasted with glass, ceramic, organic material, plastic and steel media.  All the different media’s have their pros and cons.  However, if the process or specification requires steel shot to blast or peen the stainless steel, oxidization/rusting will occur afterwards on the stainless steel part. 

 

 

You would think that stainless steel is exactly that – stainless.  What makes stainless steel stainless? In a word, chrome. Stainless steel is an alloy of iron with a minimum of 10.5 percent chromium. Chromium produces a thin layer of oxide on the surface of the steel—the “passive” layer—that prevents surface corrosion.  When shot blasting/peening with a steel media, the carbon steel media used embeds contaminants into the stainless steel.    Unprotected carbon steel rusts when exposed to air and moisture. This iron oxide film (rust) is “active” and accelerates corrosion by making it easier for more iron oxide to form. 

 

One way to eliminate this issue, is to blast/peen the stainless parts with stainless steel media.  By doing this, no contaminants are embedded into the stainless part, and thus, no rusting.  However, only stainless steel parts can be blasted in stainless steel media.  Should you blast a carbon steel part in stainless steel media, you will contaminate your media, which will in turn contaminate future stainless parts.  Stainless steel media is very expensive in comparison to carbon steel media, so most mass finishers do not have machines loaded with stainless steel media, and if they do, the price reflects this as they are limited in the jobs they can run in that machine.

 

Another method to solve this issue is passivation.  In stainless steel, passivation means removing the free iron from the surface of the metal using an acid solution to prevent rust. When the surface iron is removed, the other components of the alloy (primarily chromium, often nickel as well) are left behind as a surface layer over the underlying steel. Upon exposure to air, these elements react with oxygen to form an oxide layer that protects the rest of the steel from corrosion. solutions, bleach or salt (oceanic environments) all will contribute to the need for passivation of the stainless steel.

 

Call Latem for your stainless steel shot blasting or peening.  We are the experts. 

 

Click to get in touch.

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Parts Washing

Nearly all metal components require surface preparation to clean and remove oil, grease or smut from the surface.  

 

Degreasing is an essential step in the surface finishing process of manufacturing automotive parts, appliances, electronics and other applications. As metal components are often coated, painted, plated or welded, it is critical to remove any foreign contaminants that may affect the adhesion of a coating or the quality of a weldment.  

 

Mass finishers have several fast, cost-effective ways to clean metal components at a mass production scale. However, not all oils are created equal. It is important to select a part-specific mass washing method that will remove grime efficiently without damaging the underlying parts. 

 

Latem Industries offers a wide range of component cleaning processes to meet virtually any requirement. These are four of the industrial parts washing methods we use in our mass finishing operations: 

 

  1. Auger Wash 
  2. Ultrasonic Wash 
  3. Conveyor Wash 
  4. Belt Wash

 

1. Auger Wash 

Our auger washer uses a screw-turning like motion to push parts forward through a wash, rinse, optional rust inhibitor and dry cycle. 

 

First, components are loaded into the auger. Next, we add solvent-based or solvent-containing cleaning agents designed to remove water-insoluble substances such as grease, oils, waxes, tars and fats.  

 

The components then begin a long, spiral of washing and rinsing. Once the cycle is complete, the parts travel through an in-line drying oven and are then off-loaded.  

 

The auger wash is ideal for washing large quantities of smaller components. However, due to the aggressiveness of this method, it is not as well-suited for delicate parts. 

 

2. Ultrasonic Wash 

Ultrasonic washing uses cavitation bubbles created by high-frequency sound pressure waves to agitate a liquid. The components are placed in a basket and lowered into a transducer, which creates ultrasonic waves. The combined force of the agitation and cleaning agents creates pressure to force oil, grease and smut adhering to metal to be removed.  

 

One of the advantages of ultrasonic sound waves is that they penetrate through cracks and recesses to completely clean every facet of a part. Ultrasonic wash is also ideal for delicate parts, as the cleaning is created solely by sound waves. In addition to cleaning metal components, this versatile part washing method can clean components made of plastic, ceramic and glass. 

 

Latem Industries’ ultrasonic wash department includes two ultrasonic stations: one for general cleaning purposes and the other to achieve specific cleanliness specs. Our technicians use a state-of-the-art particle analysis system to ensure parts are completely clean at a microscopic level. 

 

3. Conveyor Wash 

As the name suggests, this mass washing method is completed on a conveyor line. Components are hung onto the line and then travel through a cleaning chamber that uses high-pressure wash from all directions to remove contaminants.  

 

Conveyor washing is incredibly versatile as it can accommodate both large and small components. In fact, components up to 4’ tall and up to 15’ long can simply and easily be cleaned in conveyor wash. 

 

3. Belt Wash 

Similar to conveyor washing, however, not all parts can accommodate being hung on a conveyor, due to configuration, weight or other factors.  These parts are then put on a belt that travels through the cleaning chamber. The part is blasted from all sides by high pressure wash.

                        

Ask the Mass Finishing Experts 

From large and complex to small and delicate, Latem Industries offers a cost-effective solution to remove contaminants from any component. 

  

To discover more about the many options we offer for cleaning your components and to receive a no charge quotation, contact us online or by phone at 1-519-740-0292 

 

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Shot peening

Shot peening is the process used to harden, and improve the fatigue life, of metal objects. 

 

For centuries, man has been using force on metal to improve fatigue life.  We are all familiar with Hollywood movies showing blacksmiths repeatedly hammering metal to improve its strength.  Shot peening is similar as it is a mechanical process to repeat that desired effect of the blacksmith.

 

Different machines are used in shot peening; air blast or wheel blast, but all have the same end result.  In shot peening, small spherical balls are directed toward the surface of the metal object.  These balls can be made of ceramic, glass, cut wire or steel.  Upon impact, the balls create tiny craters/dimples on the metal.   When a group of these balls/shotsimpact the surface they generate multiple indentations, resulting in the component being encased by a compressive stressed layer on the metal surface.Image of Shot Blasting and Peening

 

This induced compressive stress layer increases resistance to fatigue (including corrosion fatigue, stress corrosion and cavitation erosion) while also helping to resist the development and propagation of cracks.

 

The surface residual compressive stresses created by shot peening will differ depending on factors including the intensity and coverage of the peening media. Intensity is measured with an ‘Almen Strip Test’.  This test includes blasting a size-determined strip of metal with the media and measuring the deformation of the strip.  Using a formula and graphs, and repeating the process one can determine intensity. Coverage can be measured multiple ways to ensure complete coverage of the area requiring peening.  All shot peening specifications will list the required intensity and coverage. 

 

Not enough coverage or too weak of intensity will not sufficiently harden the metal.  Too much peening will result in excessive cold working of the surface of the workpiece, which can lead to fatigue cracking. It is therefore important to take account of the material properties alongside the peening intensity and exposure time.

 

In addition to these applications, shot peening can be used for sand removal in foundries, descaling, and surface finishing for castings used in engine blocks and cylinder heads.

 

The process is also widely used to relieve tensile stresses created through work hardening in aircraft repairs. Where processes such as grinding can create tensile stresses, shot peening can replace these with beneficial compressive stresses. Depending on factors such as shot quality, material, intensity and coverage, shot peening can increase fatigue life by as much as 1000%.

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Deburring isn’t rocket science. However, getting the job done right takes skill and experience.

 

And it starts with knowing exactly which tumbling media is best for the task at hand.

 

This article will focus on choosing the right tumbling media and its impact on deburring results, based on the following crucial factors:

  1. Media shape
  2. Media Size
  3. Abrasiveness and composition

The right media, combined with the right machinery, makes all the difference. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for deburring. Contact us to learn more about choosing the right tumbling media and deburring machinery for your specific needs.

 

Choosing the Best Tumbling Media for Metal Deburring

 

Media is an abrasive material that helps to remove burrs and break sharp edges from metal parts. It is often, but not always, used in the process of deburring metal. In addition to removing unwanted machining edges, tumbling media can also be used to affect the finish, form radii, polish, clean or degrease metal parts.

 

Media shape, media size, abrasiveness and composition all play a role in deciding on the best tumbling media to use in deburring.

 

1. Media shape

 

Is the part getting deburred, cleaned or a certain finish? How big are the dimensions and features of the part? These questions will assist in determining the shape of the tumbling media.

  • Cones, pyramids and angled tri star media are best for reaching into “hidden” areas. However, by using ones that are not the correct size/composition could lead to breakage and lodging in those areas.
  • Cylindrical media is good for passing through holes, however, an incorrect size can lead again to lodging in the holes or early excessive wear on the media.
  • Round and oval-shaped media are admired for their ability to not lodge, however, they will not reach into tighter areas.

2. Media size

 

Generally, larger parts require larger media. Larger media provide a rapid cut and a courser surface to larger parts, but can damage smaller, more fragile parts.

 

However, it’s also important to select a media size that will not get lodged in the part. This mistake could waste valuable time and risk damaging the parts in question.

 

3. Abrasiveness and Composition

 

 

A wide range of materials are used in deburring, including rice and glass beads. However, the main type of media materials used are made of ceramic, plastic, steel, or organic compounds.

  • Ceramic media, due to its high density, can easily grind and polish hard materials, including titanium and steel. Ceramic also has porcelain, which provides a shiny finish. The main flaw of ceramic media is that although it is durable, it will eventually break into smaller pieces. These chips can become problematic if they lodge into small areas or holes on the parts.
  • Plastic media is the preferred choice of media for softer metals, such as aluminum, zinc, and brass. Plastic media is available in low density, high density, and high performance options. Low density is a general media used for deburring, flash removal and burnishing. High density was designed for superior cut and stock removal on both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. High performance media is formulated for use in specific applications of ferrous metals.
  • Steel media is excellent at polishing and burnishing steel parts. Depending on its shape, steel media can also be effective at deburring steel. It has a longer lifespan than the media. However, steel media is also more expensive and takes longer to dry.
  • Organic media includes options such as walnut shells and corn cob granules. Although mostly used to dry parts, organic media is also excellent at providing a high-gloss finish. It is also cheaper than most other tumbling media.

Learn More About Choosing the Right Media to Deburr Metal Parts

 

All of our metal finishing processes at Latem Industries are proprietary and part specific, and each is managed by our Engineers and Lead Hands. This includes the selection of tumbling media (when needed) and compounds.

 

We are proud to be an authorized distributor of Washington Mills Media, a US-based manufacturer and worldwide leader in pre-formed ceramic media. We keep a selection of used and new media for sale. We can also place orders for larger quantities and more specific media.

 

Have a question about metal deburring? We’re here to help. Reach out to our finishing experts now and you’ll get answers within 24 hours.      

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What is Plastisol Coating?

Plastisol coating is a combination of PVC in a plasticizer to make it into a thick, pliable liquid.    An item is then preheated, dipped in the plastisol and then cured.  Once cured, the coating is both sturdy and somewhat flexible.  Here are some of the benefits of plastisol.

 

Example of items that have plastisol coating

 

Protection

 

Plastisol protects metals from corrosion and wear from constant use.  This substance serves as a layer to protect against impacts and abrasion.  Tool handles, automotive parts, medical devices and toys are often coated with plastisol for protection.

 

Vibration Dampening

 

Plastisol bonded over metal is an excellent sound dampening option.  Fewer  vibrations can enhance worker safety and well-being, as well as reduce noise pollution.

 

Improve aesthetics

 

Plastisol can be manufactured to any color.   Different colors can be used for safety, i.e. red plastisol to mark dangerous items, orange traffic cones, yellow safety guarding on equipment, etc.  Color can also be used to identify size. Many manufacturers color code their items to give an easy visual cue for size.

 

Masking

 

Plastisol can also be used for masking.  Electroplating and powder coating companies often use plastisol to mask an area or thread they do not want to coat.  These companies also coat the racks used in their process with plastisol to protect them from the dipping process, allowing them to get multiple uses per rack.

 

Insulator

 

Plastisol is also a good insulator.   It is commonly used on busbars for electrical insulation.  Copper tubing is often dipped in plastisol.  Plastic coated copper combines the durability and dependability of copper tube with the corrosion protection properties of PVC.  It is often used in LP/Natural gas applications, fuel lines, and water lines.

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Surface Finishing of Steel and Aluminum

What are the two most commonly used metals in the automotive industry?   Steel and aluminum. 

 

Manufacturers use steel because it is the strongest, most affordable material out there for the application and can be engineered in a lot of different ways to meet the needs of crash safety and the performance of the vehicle.  Aluminum is lighter and is as strong or stronger than steel.

 

However, both aluminum and steel parts often require some level of surface improvement prior to being used. Surface finishing, or polishing, is essential because it ensures the metal parts are adequately prepared for their intended application. By eliminating imperfections found on the surface of the parts, corrosion is minimized, coating materials are able to adhere properly, sharp edges/burrs are removed as well as improving the overall appearance of the part.

 

Each material has its own unique surface roughness.  Processing of the part can also affect this surface roughness, as can additional processes performed on the part, such as welding, heat treading, etc.  These factors are all taken into account to determine the optimal process to prepare the metal parts for its final stages, whether that is coating, polishing, texturing or assembly.

 

Today, let’s focus on coating.

 

Each type of coating dictates its own surface requirements.  Coatings such as nylon or powder can “break” on a sharp edge; where as a coating such as plastisol can assist in covering up sharp edges.  Regardless of the coating, metal surfaces must be clean to be coated.  Any oils, grease or corrosion will impede the adhesion of the coating to the metal. 

 

Contaminate Removal

 

To remove contaminates, oil or grease from the surface, washing is often the solution.  Depending on the geometry of the part and the requirements, there are many options, including hang washing, conveyor washing, barrel washing and ultrasonic cleaning.  Each has its merits, and by using specialty compounds, most to all contaminates, oil, grease and rust can be removed using one of these processes.

 

Edge Removal/Internal cleaning

 

If there is an edge or burr that needs to be removed, or an internal area that a spray wash will not reach, deburring is an option.  Tumble deburring, centrifugal deburring or vibratory deburring uses part on part or media and compounds to remove burrs and edges, other imperfections as well as cleaning off any contaminates.  Deburring can also increase the lifespan of a part and increase its overall look.

 

Descaling

 

Removing heat treat or casting scale is the first step when preparing parts for surface coating. Descaling can be accomplished through tumble deburring, vibratory deburring and blasting.  The best process is again determined by the configuration of the part, the descaling required, and the base material.  Laser cut metals experience heat scale on the edges, and powder coating will not adhere to these edges until the part is descaled. 

 

Texture

 

Texturing the metal gives the coating more surface to adhere to.  Blasting is a very common process to achieve this.  The texture can be minute or quite pronounced. 

 

 

Once the proper surface roughness is achieved, the coating can be applied.  Whether the coating is powder, nylon, plastisol, e-coat, chrome plating, or any other common coating, a metal part will need to be prepped before coating.  Latem industries offers every solution mentioned in this article to assist in preparing your metal parts for coating.

 

For any questions please contact us.

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Centrifugal Barrel Finishing

Centrifugal Barrel Finishing (CBF) is a high-energy finishing method where Centrifugal Barrel Machines are used. These machines are typically made up of two or four individual barrels (or drums) mounted on the outer edge of a turret. The turret is rotated in one direction, causing the barrels to rotate in the opposite direction creating very high G-forces or pressures, as well as considerable media sliding action within the drums. The movement mimics that of a ferris wheel. This action is due to either a Timing Belt, V-Belts or Chain that is connected between the main shaft and the centerline of the 4 barrels. In operation, this turret rotation creates a high centrifugal force. This force compresses the load into a tight mass causing the media and parts to slide against each other removing burrs and creating a superior finish. Short cycle times are realized as a result of the high centrifugal energy being applied to the parts.

 

Barrel tumblers work well for jobs requiring heavy burr removal. They are also good for burnishing, rapid radiusing of edges, heavy deburring with or without media and tumbling die-castings to break the parts off the runner. They are also a good choice for very heavy loads that will not run well in a vibratory machine where the media alone can sometimes weigh up to 300 lb per cubic foot. When estimating the capacity required, keep in mind that barrel tumblers run best 50% full.

 

Wet barrel finishing is a batch system for removing excess material or polishing parts, employing water and other agents to form radii, remove burrs, improve surface appearance, polish and clean. Wet barrel finishing works well for processing metal. Wet barrel finishing equipment may sometimes be used in dry tumbling operations.

Dry barrel finishing is a batch system for mass polishing or removing excess material from plastic or metal parts without liquids by tumbling them in a media and compound mixture. This process is valuable for finishing very delicate parts that would be damaged in a wet barrel. A dry system produces a smoother and higher finish. The finished parts have more of a hand-buffed appearance with greater uniformity. The result is something very difficult to do with hand finishing methods.

 

Although most methods for barrel finishing employ a wet process, dry tumbling has some definite advantages in particular cases. Some factories are not set up to handle large quantities of water, making wet tumbling impossible. Dry tumbling may be used under such circumstances to eliminate hand finishing.

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Plastico Industries Name Retired

To our valued customers and suppliers of Plastico Industries,

 

In 1999 Latem Industries opened Plastico Industries, a sister company to Latem to service customers requiring specialty coatings.  Today Latem Industries Limited is please to announce that effective immediately the company has decided to retire the Plastico Industries name and have all of our services provided under Latem Industries Limited.

 

Under the shared name of Latem Industries Limited we will bring the same sustainable solutions for our customers, continue to offer a great work environment for our employees and create value for all stakeholders.  Operation under one company name will allow us to streamline contracts, correspondence and administration.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact any of our team members if you require any further clarification.

 

Liam Nother

CEO Latem Industries Limited

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Latem Industries & CoVID-19

Latem Industries & CoVID-19

 

UPDATE:  


Latem Industries is open and currently running 1 shift per day 6:30 am – 3:00 pm. The office is running with a skeleton staff. Visitors to the office and the plant are being restricted at this time.


Our staff is following a strict CoVID-19 protocol.

 

As a thanks to our staff we will be closed on Friday May 15th, 2020 and reopening Tuesday May 19th, 2020.

 

We thank you for your continued business. Stay Safe.

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Have you ever had to toss out a whole batch of parts or components due to rust?

 

As a manufacturer, it’s on you to deliver parts and components that are strong, safe and corrosion-free...which can, unfortunately, force you to scrap parts or components affected by rust at your own expense.

 

It’s common knowledge that metals containing iron or steel are susceptible to corrosion. You’ve seen firsthand how a batch of components left exposed to air, moisture and oxygen can develop a layer of rust in no time.

 

The longer the exposure, the faster the process of oxidation occurs, especially under humid conditions!

 

Faced with this challenge, manufacturers like you trust Latem Industries to effectively remove rust and ensure manufactured parts perform better for longer. Here, we’ll review the advantages of vibratory finishing for rust removal by Canada’s Mass Finishing Experts!

 

Vibratory Finishing ‒ a Powerful Rust Removal Solution

 

Vibratory finishing processes are terrific for improving the surface of metal and removing dangerous burrs or sharp edges.

 

In addition to improving their safety and performance, vibratory finishing is highly effective at removing rust from manufactured parts or components.

 

Because it is a mass finishing process, vibratory finishing is a cost effective way to improve and protect large quantities of parts at the same time.

 

How Vibratory Finishing Removes Rust

 

Vibratory finishing processes consist of an operation in which cleaning compounds and specially-shaped media, along with rust removal compounds, are placed into a massive vibratory bowl. The size of the bowl can range from single-digit cubic foot machines to massive units well over 100 cubic feet! The rusted parts or components are then added into the bowl.


As the vibratory process begins, the machine and its contents vibrate at an accelerated rate (in the range of 900 to 3,600 vibrations per minute.) The vibratory action causes the contents of the bowl to move in a corkscrew pattern, pushing the finishing media up against the parts and components. As the parts or components brush up against each other and the media, their surfaces are cleaned of dirt, oil and rust.

 

Through proper process and media selection, it is feasible to finish a massive volume of parts in a relatively short period of time. Vibratory finishing is by far one of the most efficient and effective ways to remove rust in big batches!

 

In terms of its intensity, vibratory finishing falls somewhere between barrel tumbling and centrifugal finishing. Since there is no tumbling of parts, the process is a bit less aggressive (although no less effective) than tumbling. Vibratory finishing is ideal for parts and components made of softer metals that would be susceptible to distortion or stresses in a tumbling process.

 

Once the process is complete and the rust is gone, special rust inhibitors are added to the vibratory bowl to ensure the parts and components are protected from recurring corrosion.

 

The Best Way to Eliminate Rust

 

Left unchecked, rust can quickly and seriously compromise the safety of any structure, vehicle, or machines with iron or steel components.

 

Corrosion causes a weakening of parts as it slowly eats away at and degrades the strength of the steel. It also negatively impacts the painting or coating of steel due to a lack of adhesion on the unstable, rusted surface.

 

That’s why manufacturers like you turn to Latem Industries. We have lent our rust removal expertise to countless industries over the years, including manufacturers of automotive, sports and fitness products. Our ability to process several thousand parts at once means the cost to remove rust is negligible on a per-piece basis.

 

Contact us to learn about the many solutions we offer that add value to your business cycle!

 

 

 

 

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