in Vol. 4 - March Issue - Year 2003
Surface Finishing “Ever Changing”
Rösler are one of the world’s largest producers of surface finishing machines, together with related abrasives and wastewater treatment systems. The range of equipment of course includes vibratory, shot blast, centrifugal, drag finishing and cleaning equipment.
Finishing processes have in recent years tended to evolve slightly behind the industrial requirements of the day.
This was clearly seen in the early years of the 20th Century when the car industry’s demand for mass produced parts acted as the catalyst that brought about control and better understanding of the barrel finishing processes being used at that time.
This trend continued through two world wars with automation seeing the demise of the barrel and the introduction of the vibro and centrifugal finishing machine. Today in order to service all the many finishing systems and processes designed and sold by Rösler, their production programme has over 6,000 different products, and they supply each year over 20,000 tons of consumables to their customers.
The majority of this is for standard finishing treatments and processes covering a vast range of industries, components, and materials. Deburring, polishing, cleaning, de-greasing, shot blast and shot peening to name just a few.
In the 21st Century, the way a process evolves, mentioned earlier, has started to change in certain industries. This again is being led by the motor industry, at times through Formula 1, aerospace and medical.
These three industries are very different in their products and markets. They are however very alike in requiring, in order to succeed, products of the highest quality with well above average reliability.
Rösler, at their Knowsley Centre of Excellence, has in recent years worked closely with these industries to develop special processes, but in many cases because of their commitment to research and development have been able to offer ready solutions.
The Keramo® process was, for instance, originally developed purely for cosmetic purposes, and is still widely used in vibratory finishing machines, together with non-abrasive ceramic media to produce the high lustre seen on many everyday items such as cutlery, jewellery, light fittings, etc.
Keramo® and now Keramo® Mark 2 do of course, in use, generate very low micro inch finishes. This fact was of great interest to many of our customers, particularly those working in motor sport, aerospace and medicine.
Engineers have been aware for several hundred years that cast, forged or machined components can in some instances become stressed and unstable. The simple way of stabilising or partial stress relieving was to store for a period of several weeks or months after casting, or forging, before machining. Work-in-progress is too expensive for this technique today. Impact on the surface of a component tends to speed up the stress relieving process, lifting the fatigue strength, and the company's shot blasting knowledge and experience with Keramo® is proving a real asset on many critical parts.
The length of optimum performance “Up Time” on engine and transmission parts on many high performance cars has shown significant improvement following Keramo® finishing.
Likewise, the load bearing surfaces on surgical implants when reduced to the low micro inch finishes produced with Keramo® retain critical tolerances longer.
The aero engine blades and vanes on many of the world’s aircraft have been surface finished to less than 10 micro inches (0.25 micro metres) in Rösler vibrators using Keramo® process. This is achieved with minimum material loss on leading/trailing edges and tips maintaining longer, engine peak performance.
Keramo® is non-acidic, and therefore metals are not dissolved into solution, making waste from the vibratory process easy to treat in a Rösler system, prior to discharge or re-use.
Unity Grove, School Lane
Knowsley Business Park, Prescot,
Merseyside, L34 9GT, England
Tel: +44.151.482 0444
Fax: +44.151. 482 4400