Commercial aluminum polishing problems

Posted: March 6, 2005 By: xbusman

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    xbusman

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    I am starting up a production facility for high end billet aluminum motorcycle parts and having polishing problems.

    Our parts are made of 6063 T6 billet aluminum machined on high speed CNC vertical mills. The machining marks are polished out and about half our parts are five stage hexavalent chromed and the remaining half are polished to high gloss.

    We are using 3 and 5 horsepower variable speed polishers so have plenty of power at any RPM.

    The parts are being burned around the holes during polish and flat surfaces end up wavy, not like a flat mirror but sort of a lumpy mirror.

    I would be very grateful if someone could give me a rundown on the process I should be looking at to start. I am thinking dedicated wheels for the aluminum work, at least 10″ and as wide as possible to reduce cutting the part. Perhaps a 10″ spiral sewn wheel with white rouge for the initial cut followed by a 6″ cotton flannel wheel with jewelers rouge for the final cut.

    The time to polish is not a critical cost factor in the part but the volume is. We need to be moving 20,000 parts per month through polishing and are limited to about 15 polishing wheels.

    Your comments would be greatly appreciated.

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