Aluminum is the most purchased metal by consumers. However, many consumers and manufacturers purchase everything from thin aluminum strips to aluminum sheets without checking the Ra.
Ra values can be more important than finish values. The Ra value of aluminum can provide you with the information you need to ensure that you are choosing the right thin metal strips, sheet metal, and more to support your design needs.
Roughness average ratings are often overlooked. Many users focus on the strength of the metal, which of course, is important, but never inquire about the aluminum Ra. The roughness average is an equally important value that any manufacturer should be considering.
Not only does the right Ra ensure that you get the smooth finish you need but it can also help to prevent machinery and processing equipment from undue wear and tear. For example, 6061 aluminum with a low Ra will have a smoother finish and create less wear and tear during processing.
Smooth Finished Surfaces Start With a Low Ra
All metals have micro-level peaks and valleys. You may not be able to detect these peaks and valleys with the human eye but they are there. Combined metals, aluminum, stainless steel, all of it has imperfections that you may not be able to detect, but a Ra test can.
Starting out with the lowest roughness level is the easiest way to ensure that you wind up with the smoothest finish. Surface finish is subjective, and roughness average is objective. In other words, the smoothness of the finished surface is more of a perception than an actual value.
Starting With The Right Metal Can Be Cost Savings
The Ra value can help you to choose aluminum that will require less finish work. Deburring and other processing can be reduced when you begin with a low Ra value aluminum. Less processing can mean fewer costs in the long run.
Of course, less processing can also mean less time to process. You can get your production done faster, at less cost by simply identifying the Ra value of the metal that you are purchasing. Overlooking the Ra value of the metal you are purchasing can be a critical misstep.
Learn more about Ra values and how they can affect your finished products today.