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Surface Finishing Service

Your one-stop shop for manufacturing and surface finishing. Get your metal and plastic parts CNC machined and bead blasted, anodized, or powder coated in as fast as 5 days.

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One-stop shopMetal & plastic5-23 day lead time

Our surface finishing capabilities


Use Hubs as your one-stop solution for both manufacturing and surface finishing of your custom CNC machined parts, reducing the risk of production.

Do you need lettering logos or custom tags? Take a look at our part marking service here.

Our standard surface finishes


Here is a list of standard surface finishes. For custom surface finishes such as electroplating or polishing, please contact sales@hubs.com.

As machined

Our standard finish is “as machined” finish. It has a surface roughness of 3.2 μm (126 μin). All sharp edges are removed and parts are deburred. Tool marks are visible.

Requirement Specification
Cosmetic availability Non-cosmetic

Smooth machining (1.6 Ra μm/64 Ra μin)

A finishing CNC machining operation can be applied to the part to reduce its surface roughness. The standard smoothing surface roughness (Ra) is 1.6 μm (64 μin). Machine marks are less evident but still visible.

Requirement Specification
Cosmetic availability Non-cosmetic

Bead blasted

Bead blasting adds a uniform matte or satin surface finish on a machined part, removing the tool marks. This is used mainly for visual purposes and comes in several different grits which indicate the size of the bombarding pellets. Our standard grit is #120.

Requirement Specification
Grit #120
Color Uniform matte of raw material color
Part masking Indicate masking requirements in technical drawing
Cosmetic availability Cosmetic on request

Bead blasted + Anodizing type II (Matte)

Parts are bead blasted to #120 grit and then anodized (type II). Ideal for increasing the corrosion resistance of the part. Results in naturally matte colours. For glossy colours, please select the brushed anodizing option.

Requirement Specification
Surface preparation Bead blasted with glass beads grit #120
Tolerances General dimensional tolerances apply after anodizing
Thickness 4 - 8 μm (clear), 8 - 12 μm (color)
Gloss Units 2 - 10 GU
Color Black, clear or any RAL code or Pantone number
Part masking Indicate masking requirements in technical drawing
Cosmetic availability Cosmetic on request

Brushed + Anodizing type II (Glossy)

Parts are brushed and then anodized type II. Ideal for increasing the corrosion resistance of the part. Typically results in a glossy color.

Requirement Specification
Surface preparation Brushed with grit #400
Tolerances General dimensional tolerances apply after anodizing
Thickness 4 - 8 μm (clear), 8 - 12 μm (color)
Gloss Units 10 - 60 GU
Color black, clear or any RAL code or Pantone number
Part masking Indicate masking requirements in technical drawing
Cosmetic availability Cosmetic on request

As machined + Anodized type III (Hardcoat)

The anodizing type III coating is applied directly to a surface as machined (no other mechanical finish applied). Type III anodizing provides excellent corrosion and wear resistance, suitable for functional applications.

Requirement Specification
Surface preparation "As machined", cleaned and de-greased
Tolerances General dimensional tolerances met before anodizing
Thickness 35-50 μm
Color Black or natural
Part masking Indicate masking requirements in technical drawing
Cosmetic availability Non-cosmetic

Powder coating

Powder coating is a strong, wear-resistant finish that is compatible with all metal materials.

Requirement Specification
Tolerances Met before process
Thickness 50-150μm
Color Black or any RAL code or Pantone number
Part masking Indicate masking requirements in technical drawing
Cosmetic availability Non-cosmetic

Brushed + Electropolished (Ra0.8µm, 32µin)

Electropolishing is an electrochemical process used to clean metallic surfaces and reduce micro-roughness of stainless steel parts. Useful to remove a thin (up to 10μm) layer of material and improve surface finish.

Requirement Specification
Surface preparation Brushed
Color Natural metal color
Part masking Indicate masking requirements in technical drawing
Cosmetic availability Cosmetic by default

Black oxide

Applicable on steels, black oxide is a Conversion coating used to improve corrosion resistance and minimize light reflection.

Requirement Specification
Surface preparation "As machined", cleaned and de-greased
Thickness 0-30μm
Color Black.
Part masking Indicate masking requirements in technical drawing
Cosmetic availability Non-cosmetic

Chromate conversion coating (Alodine/Chemfilm)

Chromate conversion coating is used to increase the corrosion resistance of aluminium and aluminium alloys while maintaining their conductive properties.

Requirement Specification
Surface preparation "As machined", cleaned and de-greased
Color Clear
Part masking Indicate masking requirements in technical drawing
Cosmetic availability Non-cosmetic

Brushing

Brushing is produced by polishing the metal with grit resulting in a unidirectional satin finish. Not advisable for applications where corrosion resistance is required.

Requirement Specification
Surface roughness Ra 1.2μm / Ra 47μm
Grit #400-600
Part masking Indicate masking requirements in technical drawing
Cosmetic availability Cosmetic on request

Polishing

Parts are manually polished in multiple directions. Surface is smooth and slightly reflective.

Requirement Specification
Surface roughness Ra 0.8μm / Ra 32μm
Part masking Indicate masking requirements in technical drawing
Cosmetic availability Cosmetic by default


Cosmetic Finishes


For parts that look as good as they perform. We're dedicated to ensuring the surface finishes of your parts meet your cosmetic requirements and we therefore require extra measures to guarantee optimal quality and results.

What is a cosmetic finish?


When adding a surface finish to your part, you choose whether the finish has a merely functional purpose or whether it should also serve an aesthetic purpose.

Parts that serve both functional and aesthetic purposes are deemed cosmetic.

The production of cosmetic parts require extra measures to minimize defects such as hang marks, light scratches and other minor imperfections.

For all of our available finishes, we have categorized them by their cosmetic availability:

Non-cosmetic

Primary machining marks will still be visible


  • As machined
  • Smooth machining
  • Chromate Conversion Coating
  • Anodized type III (Hardcoat)
  • Powder coating
  • Black oxide
Cosmetic on request

Finishes can be either cosmetic or non-cosmetic as per request


  • Brushed + Anodizing type II
  • Bead Blasted + Anodizing type II
  • Bead Blasted
  • Brushed
Cosmetic by default

These finishes will not have the option to be non-cosmetic.


  • Polishing
  • Brushed + Electropolished

What differences are there between cosmetic and non-cosmetic finishes?


  • Cosmetic finishes will follow our Cosmetic Acceptability Criteria
  • Parts will have guaranteed consistency across the batch
  • Batch will be inspected as per AQL level II
  • Around +10% price increase

Defining an A and a B side


The processes of applying surface finishes will unavoidably incur some defects such as hang marks, for instance. However, these can be focussed to a certain surface or area of your part to allow the rest of your part to be defect free.

This can be achieved by defining an A-side and a B-side in the technical drawing of your part:


A and B side technical drawing


A side: Indicates the most aesthetically important surface, typically the visible side of your product.

B side: Indicates the side that is not aesthetically important, typically the side hidden from visibility after assembly.


Surfaces declared as the A-side will be defect free while B-side surfaces will have a slightly more tolerating acceptability criteria:


Defect type Primary surface (A-side) Secondary surface (B-side)
Scratches, stains, blemishes Not allowed Not allowed
Hanging marks Not allowed Minor hanging marks
Other minor defects Not allowed Up to 2 minor defects

Cosmetic Acceptability Criteria


For all cosmetic parts produced by our manufacturing partners, we have devized an acceptability criteria that will be followed:


Consistency requirements

Each part must be visually consistent across the same batch meaning:

  • Same grit must be used across parts for sanding or brushing
  • Brush marks must be in the same direction**
  • Color must be consistent to the same pantone when parts are placed next to each other
  • Gloss units must be consistent across the batch


** Manual brushing marks will be as unidirectional as possible. Please note that for rounded geometries, brushing marks may not be entirely unidirectional.

Conditions

Upon receiving your part at our quality control facilities, care will be taken to visually inspect the surface quality of each part with the following conditions:


  • Distance: 50cm ±10cm with a 10/10 vision (or corrected)
  • Incidence angle: Approximately 45º in all directions
  • Lighting conditions: 500-1000 Lux, color 3300-5300 Kelvin (neutral white)


See our video: Cosmetic vs Non-cosmetic Finishes Explained

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