Surface treatment is done to various metals and alloys so that their properties can be improved. There are a lot of surface treatments performed, but these are not all good for the same types of materials. There are certain treatments that are done only to specific alloys and metals. Some of the properties that can be altered after surface treatment are hardness, wear resistance, ductility and corrosion resistance.
Here are some of the best surface treatments for steel and titanium:
- Surface Coating. This, perhaps, is the most common type of surface treatment for steel. Paint is typically used in surface coating for steel appliances and steel computer cases. There are pre-treatment methods done in order to prepare the steel for the surface coating. Other alternatives for paint as a surface coating are powder coating, nitriding, electro-coating and flame spraying. These other surface coating methods are used for automobiles, freight cards and guardrails.
- Plasma Treatment. Plasma spraying is a type of thermal spraying surface treatment. This is a kind of surface treatment of titanium that will prevent it from corroding. A plasma torch is used in this type of surface treatment. The feedstock used for the plasma torch is usually in powder form. Other substances that can be used are wires, liquids and suspensions.
- Acid Cleaning. Acid cleaning is a surface technology treatment that is done to titanium before it undergoes another surface treatment, such as surface coating. Cleaning is important so that the surface is free from other chemicals or materials that can prevent the surface treatment from working as well as it should be. The acid that is used in acid cleaning of titanium is ferric chloride. Another acid used is nitric acid. They can be used together with hydrochloric acid to clean titanium surfaces well.
- Pickling Treatment. Pickling treatment is done to surface steel. This is done to remove impurities on the steel, such as rust or stains. The treatment is done with a solution of different acids. This solution is the pickle liquor. Typically, the pickle liquor is made of sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid. This method is also used in cleaning jewelry. The pickle liquor is able to clean the surfaces of gold, silver and also copper.
- Electropolishing. Electropolishing is process that is done to stainless steel in order to remove other materials from the metal piece. This method not only removes unwanted materials, but it is also used to polish the stainless steel. Electropolishing is done by immersing the stainless steel into a chemical electrolyte solution. This solution is the agent that removes the impurities from the steel.
These are some of the best surface treatments for steel and for titanium. It is important that you know what the best surface treatments are for your material, as not all of them will result in a better quality of steel or titanium. The different processes for surface treatment will greatly improve the quality of your stainless steel and titanium materials.