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Methods for Refining Metal Products

Metal stands as one of the most important construction materials on the Earth, used today for everything from electronic devices to cars to ballistic weapons and beyond. In fact, many pre-historic phases of human development were marked by the metals that were used for tools and weapons at the time. The Bronze Age, Copper Age, and the Iron Age, for example, may come to mind. Today, manufacturers are making much more than knights’ swords or copper-headed battle axes. The American manufacturing industry is truly enormous, and modern factories and work shops have many different advanced tools and skilled workers to produce nearly anything. Metal, plastic, glass, and resin are common materials for production, and metal in particular calls for some special tools to be used on it.

Burnishing tools for metal may be used, but just what is a burnishing tool used for, anyway? Someone who is in a technical school for manufacturing or repair may wonder “what is a burnishing tool used for?” among other questions, and soon find out. Precision metal finishing, roller burnishing, lathes, and more are also used to refine metal so that it’s usable, attractive, and safe for a finished product. The question “what is a burnishing tool used for?” may soon be answered if someone were to take a tour around a modern workshop.

American Manufacturing

Using lathes and burnishing tools is an important part of the manufacturing industry today, and it’s a large one, to be sure. In fact, manufacturing contributes an impressive $2.17 trillion to the American economy, and for every $1 spent on it, another $1.40 is added to the economy. Recent data shows that some 256,363 different firms in the manufacturing sector today, and all except 3,626 large ones are considered small businesses (having under 500 employees). This adds up to nearly 12.5 million manufacturing employees in the United States today, and that’s 8.5% of the entire American work force. Roughly one in 12 American employees is helping to manufacture something or other. In fact, the American manufacturing industry, if treated as a standalone entity, would be the world’s eighth largest economy. And in the middle of all this manufacturing, the machining of metal is very important, or metal treatment. Turning, milling, and drilling are the three main operations for machining.

What is a Burnishing Tool Used For

Many Americans may have heard of “burnished metal” before, but they may not be entirely clear on what that means. Put simply, burnishing metal is the act of rubbing another material on it with the intention to smooth out a rough surface and make it shinier for aesthetic as well as practical reasons. In fact, in some cases, metal is accidentally burnished outside of a factory or workshop context, but for the most part, burnishing is quite deliberate. A tool used for burnishing must apply more contact stress to the surface metal than the metal’s yield strength so that burnishing is possible. Typically, ball is used for this burnishing work, and the burnishing ball will in fact deform the metal surface to a degree to remove imperfections from it. A burnished surface may be compressed and smoothed, and this may make it resistant to corrosion or deformation when in use. For many finished products, these attributes are highly desirable, along with the metal’s attractive sheen.

Lathes and Metal Burrs

Burnishing may be done alongside using lathes to grind off imperfections on machined metal. During manufacture, a piece of metal may be cut, welded, or drilled, and doing so is important but will also create rough imperfections in the metal’s surface. These imperfections, known as burrs, are troublesome if allowed to remain. These rough, upraised bits of metal may scratch or scrape against other surfaces, and that may cause property damage and prevent metal parts from gliding past each other as intended. These burrs are also unsightly and may attract static electricity, which may harm electrical components. So, lathe tables are used to grind off those burrs and leave a smooth surface. Lathes make use of rapidly spinning surfaces that grind off metal that’s being fed into them, and any good workshop will have a lathe table capable of various rotation speeds for different materials. In fact, even the ancient Egyptians made use of simple, handheld lathes.

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