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The term ‘chromating’ is a contraction of Chromate Conversion Coating, which itself is a little misleading. They are not typical coatings in the sense we would normally define as a separate layer which is clearly distinguishable from the surface below. Chromate conversion processes chemically alter the surface to which they are applied, and the conversion coating becomes an integral part of the surface. The chromated surface is formed by a chemical reaction between the substrate...

Anodising: titanium

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When we hear the word 'anodising', it is generally a process we associate with aluminium components. Most of us will be familiar with decorative coloured anodic finishes and the much thicker 'hard' anodising treatments that are often applied to mechanical parts. However, a small number of other materials may be anodised; these are zinc, magnesium and titanium. The anodising of titanium is certainly less widespread than anodising aluminium, but it can fulfil an important role...

Chemical machining

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The term 'chemical machining' can cover a wide range of processes, but all are basically characterised by slow rates of material removal which varies according to the geometry of the part, the material and the chemical agent used to remove the material from the surface of the part. Because they don't use physical 'hard' tooling, the processes, aren't restricted by difficult geometry such as undercuts, or very narrow or very deep features. The essence of the process is...

Fillet rolling

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If you regularly read the RET-Monitor articles or Race Engine Technology magazine, the value of residual compressive stress will not be lost on you. When considering the design of a critical part, it is common to specify a surface treatment that leaves the surface of the part in a state of compressive stress. Such processes have often been used in a remedial sense in the past, as a quick-fix for a fatigue problem. With the increasing use of stress analysis software, however, engineers are...

Abrasive flow machining

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Race engines are characterised by high levels of output, and are generally considered to be low in mass. Engineers spend a great deal of time, and companies spend a great deal of money, in trying to create ever-lighter components. Light components lead to lower forces for a given level of acceleration, and therefore generally lead to lower friction. Such pursuit of minimum mass in engine components leads us to produce evermore complex machined parts, and new manufacturing methods will soon...