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Technical : 6.1 Surface Finish

6.1 Surface Finish

Similar to thermoplastic injection molding, the surface finish of a molded part takes on the same finish as the dies used to form the part. During the sintering process that surface loses some of its polished appearance as the molecular bonding takes place. Parts are then put through a de-flashing process to remove any loosely adhering material and to re-polish the surface. Upon magnification one can see the outlines of the un-sintered pellets which were compressed during the forming process. This is referred to as "orange peel" for its similarity to the texture of the outer skin of the citrus fruit. The natural resiliency of the resin allows the part to conform to the mating surface.

The recommended surface finish of the mating parts is in general, the smoother the better. Courser surfaces can allow some leakage in static applications. In dynamic applications the courser surface will also accelerate the wear of the part. The point of diminishing return for how smooth to make this surface vs cost, should be determined for the specific application.
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