Stainless steel can be polished to mirror surface finishes. Sometimes, the surface needs to be etched in order accept a coating or prepare the part for a process that requires a little ‘grab’. While tumbling in a vibratory system or a barrel tumbler will create a matte finish, the surface is generally not rough enough for many coatings. Also, when the parts are small, it can be difficult to separate the media from the parts in a tumbler.
Stainless Steel Etching
When an etch is required and the parts are small, a tumble blasting process is often an ideal solution. The stainless steel parts above (before and after) are less than 1/2″ in any dimension. These parts were tumble blasted with 60 mesh Aluminum Oxide Grit for only 20 minutes. Depending on the size of the blasting basket, batch sizes as large as 3 cubic feet can be processed at one time.