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How to polish and finish aluminium and stainless steel

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article image USK 6R with TZ belt on expanding drum

Abrasives expert Suhner (Australia) specialises in polishing and finishing aluminium and stainless steel surfaces.

Aluminium polishing and finishing

Aluminium is a difficult material to work with, especially when a brushed or polished finish is required. Aluminium grinding is best achieved by using a non woven nylon abrasive such as the Suhner FVV surface conditioning discs. A coarse (80-100g) disc can remove reasonable welds and ‘soaks up’ the fine aluminium dust. Supplied in a belt form as well as a disc form, the choice of abrasive type will depend on the surface finish required.

A brushed, grained aluminium finish is best achieved by removing welds and marks with a coarse (36 to 40 grit) zirconia disc and then using a belt (on a drum) or wheel form of the nylon surface conditioning material. Coarse, medium and fine will produce the desired aluminium finish.

For mill finish aluminium, an aggressive abrasive such as a 36 grit sanding disc or a special grinding disc such as Suhner Magic Flexible disc is recommended. These abrasives are available from 50mm diameter up to 180mm.

Mirror finishing/polishing of aluminium can be achieved by using stitched cotton mops and decreasing grain pastes. Suhner Australia stocks a range of mops and pastes to meet all aluminium mirror finishing applications.

Stainless steel polishing and finishing

Stainless steel finishing is best achieved by employing equipment that maintains correct and constant speed as well as abrasives that keep their grit for an extended period.

Suhner offers finishing tools designed specifically for stainless steel polishing, grinding and finishing. These tools feature variable speed controls that ensure the tool stays on speed once set.

Stainless steel polishing with modern patterned abrasives ensures a consistent brushed or mirror polished finish.

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