What is Metal Finishing?

What is Metal Finishing?

Metal finishing is an essential process in both aerospace and military technology manufacturing. This process applies a thin layer of material to a metal part to help improve its durability, appearance, and functionality. Continue reading to learn about the different types of metal finishing, the reasons behind metal finishing and its advantages, how to select the proper metal finishing process, and how to work with metal finishing service providers.

Different Types of Metal Finishing

Metal finishing technologies used in the aerospace and military technology industries include anodizing, plating, passivation, chemical conversion coating, painting, powder coating, and thermal spray coating. There is no right or wrong type of metal finish; it largely depends on your project’s specifications.

For example, anodizing, creates a protective oxide layer on the surface of aluminum parts, making it much more resistant to corrosion. Thermal spray coating applies a hard, wear-resistant protective layer to high-stress or moving components. Lastly, powder coating results in a smooth, durable finish.

Reasons for Metal Finishing

Metal finishing improves a metal part’s corrosion resistance, wear resistance, aesthetics, or bondability. Parts exposed to harsh environments or corrosive chemicals will require metal finishing to prevent rust and other forms of degradation. Aesthetic reasons, such as color matching or branding, are also important in some applications, as is improved bonding for adhesives or additional coatings.

Advantages of Metal Finishing

Metal finishing has several advantages, such as enhancing the durability of metal parts, extending their lifespan, and reducing maintenance costs. Additionally, metal finishes provide a smooth and aesthetically pleasing look. Metal finishing can also increase functionality by adding electrical conductivity or improving thermal insulation.

Choosing The Right Metal Finishing Process

When choosing a metal finishing process, one must take into consideration several factors, such as the part’s intended use, the desired finish quality, and the environment it will be used in. Common mistakes to avoid include the following: not understanding the requirements of the end-use application, not testing the process, and failing to account for the cost of the process.

Working with Metal Finishing Service Providers

Selecting a metal finishing service provider is critical for projects requiring precise specifications. Criteria for selecting a metal finishing service provider should include experience, expertise, certifications, and references. Key questions to ask a metal finishing service provider include their turnaround time, pricing, and their quality control processes.


Metal finishing is a critical task in aerospace and military technology manufacturing. When done right, it can reduce maintenance costs, and enhance a part’s durability, overall appearance, and functionality.

Choosing the right metal finishing process and working with a qualified service provider is a crucial part in the manufacturing process. As a NADCAP and ISO certified facility, Royal Coatings, we provide quality metal finishing for various top-tier clients. Contact our team today to learn more about how we can provide you with quality metal finishing services.