New all in one Lapping Plate with enhanced stock removal and surface finish
Component designers are increasingly demanding lapped surfaces on the parts they create. Precision lapping and polishing specialist’s, Kemet International Ltd, are finding that the lapping process, that had until 20 years ago been used almost exclusively by the mechanical seal industry, is becoming a common requirement in an ever expanding range of applications.
The lapping process is not without its challenges, however, and chief among these is the choice of processes available. It is important for designers and engineers to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each of these processes when trying to select the best solution for their particular component.
To make the decision a little simpler Kemet have developed a new composite lapping plate - Kemet SP2. In the past, the consensus was that if you needed to remove material and also generate a reflective surface finish suitable for optical flatness inspection, a 2-stage process was required - the first stage to remove the material and a secondary finishing stage to generate the surface finish. With a Kemet SP2 plate it’s possible to do both in a single operation, reducing the number of machines required and freeing up valuable production space or, if only a single machine is available, eliminating the time needed to change the plate between the stages.
If a mirror polish is required the SP2 plate offers even more benefits compared to conventional lapping (aluminium oxide on cast iron). The highly reflective surface Kemet SP2 generates is a perfect precursor to mirror finishing with polishing pads. It not only reduces pad polishing times and provides cost savings by lengthening the life of the polishing pads, less time on the polishing pad also results in reduced roll-off on the edge of the components, providing a better overall final surface flatness.