Steel Equipment Manufacturing: Finishing Options for Welded Joints

8 March 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Welding is an important process in the fabrication of steel equipment and parts. This joining technique is designed to allow efficient fusion of different pieces of the pertinent machinery. Unfortunately, when steel products are welded, the area of connection is often left with an unattractive series of weld beads. These are bumps of metal which are formed when the melted area of the welded equipment joint cools down. This surface is unattractive, so you will not be able to use or sell the products effectively. Therefore, it is crucial for you to choose an ideal aesthetic restoration technique when ordering your custom steel commodities. Here are the primary finishing options to consider for welded equipment and parts.


Steel is a hard and resilient metal, so the material will require powerful mechanical intervention to eliminate the welding beads and imperfections. Basically, this finishing technique is performed using a grinding machine. This type of equipment has a highly-abrasive drum or rotating wheel which presses against the welded area. The grinder will use friction, attrition and good compressive strength for the finishing process. There are different machines used by manufacturers to deliver finite smoothness. You can choose only this unrefined finish or request for a more aesthetically pleasing finish.

Polishing and Buffing

The polishing technique is an advance or refinement on the grinding processes. Therefore, if you are not satisfied with the level of smoothness on your equipment after grinding, consider choosing this process. Generally, a polishing machine has a fine grit abrasive on wheels or belts. The movement of these polishing components will cause smoothing of the remaining weld imperfections as well as the lines produced by the grinding operation.

When this process is completed, your equipment or parts will have a uniform but textured surface. If you want a smooth and non-textured surface, you can request your fabricator for a buff finish. This technique uses a cloth to buff the welded area and remove the texture left after polishing. Repeated buffing will produce high gloss sheen on the pertinent steel commodity.

Abrasive Blasting

Abrasive blasting is an ideal technique for your finishing project if your commodities require a matte finish. You can choose this as the primary blemish-removal process or employ this after the initial grinding. As implied, abrasive blasting involves releasing abrasive media like steel shots, glass beads or sand at high velocity on the welded joints. The pressure and grit of the media will remove imperfections and create a clean but matted surface on the equipment.