Industry and end consumers are increasingly attentive to the state of component surfaces. Whether it’s a special finish to make an object uniform and aesthetically flawless, or a process to increase the fatigue resistance of an aircraft component that must resist certain levels of stress, our expertise combined with continuous research and the great flexibility of our systems makes it possible for us to quickly identify the best possible solution.
RECOVERY AND MODELLING
Controlled removal is the treatment used to uniformly eliminate small amounts of material from certain surfaces that have suffered deformations. On many occasions mechanical components are irreparably damaged by heat treatments that strain them, incorrect mechanical processes and much more. When this happens on the finished, already heat processed piece, there is no other option but to discard the unacceptably strained piece. All this causes sizeable economic problems and production delays. Our specific controlled removal technology makes it possible to restore the correct geometry of the part with targeted and effective interventions.
This treatment can also be used to create engravings or embossed effects and artistic creations in general.
Depending on the tolerances the treatment must respect, Norblast proposes targeted solutions that can be implemented using manual machines or solely via automated applications. Even the desired productivity can be a major factor in identifying the suitable solution, but for this particular treatment, where normally the quantities are not very significant, identifying the main process parameters plays a decisive role, and particularly in the case of especially strict tolerances, equipping the system with all the control and monitoring systems necessary for the proper execution of the so-called “controlled removal” treatment.
THE IMPORTANCE OF AESTHETICS
Finishing is the treatment that finishes the surfaces, giving them a uniform appearance, and treated components interesting aesthetic effects. The finishing of surfaces, as with applications, is done in industries ranging from fashion (including apparel, glasses, fashion jewellery, jewellery etc.) to the finishing of components for the pharmaceutical and hospital sectors in compliance with current standards in terms of sanitisation of surfaces.
Designing systems and processes to perform finishing treatments means ensuring perfect results. The components finished with sandblasting very often are placed on the market directly after the execution of the treatment. It follows that the systems must operate with great precision and with absolute consistency, in that very often the finishing treatment is aimed at achieving an important aesthetic result.
THE FINAL TOUCH
In this category we can include the sandblasting treatment aimed at making surfaces clean, improving their appearance and making them more suitable for their intended use. The sandblasting of existing steel structures, for example, can remove old coatings, rust, contaminants. On newly rolled steel, on the other hand, it removes mill scales, oxides and rust. Other metals that can be sandblasted include aluminium and aluminium-derived alloys (like zamak), titanium, magnesium, brass, copper and alloys.
Moreover, thanks to the development of new grits based on Nylon, polycarbonate and polyurethane resins it is possible to treat plastics like thermoplastics, thermosettings or thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) and composites. This allows for applications in aeronautics, automotive and shipbuilding to remove coatings without using treatments that could damage the surface.
Our in-depth knowledge of processes and materials enables us to design ultra-efficient machines conceived to ensure top-quality results. For stainless steel, for instance, our patented Inox Peen® treatment lends treated surfaces a particular roughness profile that achieves the same cleanability as BA polished surface or better. Our systems, both manual and automatic, are suitable for conveying appropriate abrasives, removing surface oxides (e.g., residues from hardening processes or salts baths), restoring the conditions of the item to its pretreatment state, always without altering the morphological characteristics of the piece itself.
PREPARING THE SURFACES
This treatment etches a series of microscopic peaks and valleys on the surface of the piece. The etching, and consequently the roughness obtained, contributes to improving the adhesion of a subsequent coating of the component.
For this reason, the artificial change caused by the blasting of the surface is called “anchoring”. Each coating requires anchoring with specific characteristics. In general, thinner coatings require “soft” anchoring, while for very thick coatings the etchings generated by sandblasting are usually deeper to increase the adhesion. Hence the need to have a specific treatment of “controlled blasting” that makes it possible to achieve and maintain goals over time.
Our machines are designed and built to respond with maximum efficiency to the high quality required to successfully perform this particular controlled sandblasting treatment. The systems dedicated to this specific treatment are equipped with control systems that can continuously monitor the basic parameters for the proper execution of the process, to ensure its constancy and uniformity over time.
Deburring has always been one of the main problems of turneries. Even modern technology, despite the developments of machines and cutting tools, has still failed to completely resolve this annoying problem.
Deburring means eliminating the cutting shavings on components machined with machine tools, but also the burrs from stamping metal and/or plastic materials, while in this case their formation is due to the leakage of material in areas not well sealed or in the gas leak. In short, the problem is removing unwanted material that is still attached to the machined part.
The problem of burr removal is generally rather challenging, not to mention complex. With conventional technologies the presence of threading, small holes, odd intersections, grooves that are difficult to access or particularly complex shapes requires the expert touch of one or more operators and very long working times. This difficulty is further aggravated by another current issue. Medium-large companies are increasingly focused on product differentiation and a Just-in-Time supply system requiring a series of small lots in a short time, and of course at low prices. A long process that requires significant manual labour cannot meet these demands.
Compressed air sandblasting becomes an irreplaceable partner for deburring. Manual and automatic/flexible systems (depending on the productivity required) can continuously and very rapidly remove unwanted material. Special applications make it possible for our systems to perform compressed air deburring in areas, channels and joints that are not accessible with conventional systems.
Shot peening is probably our leading treatment, the culmination of particularly thorough and detailed study by the research centre and our Peen Service subsidiary.
It is a treatment designed to improve the fatigue strength of cemented, nitrided or reclaimed parts. The treatment can reach considerable depth and is often used to slow or eliminate breakage associated with stress corrosion, fretting, pitting and to reduce the negative effects associated with the decarburisation of surfaces. In aviation environments it is also used before applying galvanic coating to eliminate the embrittlement caused by the application of the layer.
High quality shot peening machines and third-party processing. Our systems are designed with the maximum technology to strictly meet the specific needs of this particular treatment, characterised by numerous specifications and extreme application complexity. Our machines are designed to give each single piece the same treatment through the rigorous control of all process characteristics like job pressure, hot spot location, blasting angle, grit size, shape and flow, the speed of shifting and rotation of the various drives. Our solutions are fully compatible with and certified under NADCAP specifications and are compatible with the typical guidelines of industry certifications.
Depending on the case, with Peen Service, our subsidiary specialised in shot-peening, we can offer outsourcing treatment on all components of this industry, both for fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.