Surface Finishing

Ultrasound Assisted Surface Finishing

Many surface coatings require the substrate to be etched in order to provide good adhesion. This process can be very difficult on polymer substrates such as polypropylene, ABS, PTFE and epoxy bonded carbon fibre. Typically these are very resistant to chemicals so only very aggressive / toxic compounds such as Chromic Acid are able to etch them. The alternative is physical abrasion such as sand blasting, but this is labour intensive and difficult to apply to certain shapes.

 Surface Finishing Image

The Susonence project is developing ultrasonically enhanced etching. Acoustic cavitation in a liquid due to ultrasound application causes asymmetrical collapse resulting in the production of a powerful microjet of liquid towards the surface. This can produce surface activation and surface cleaning through both chemical and mechanical attack, as well as improved heat and mass transfer. The result is etching with greatly reduced or even no chemical application. 

Ultrasound Assisted Surface Finishing Diagram


Surface coatings also benefit from the addition of ultrasound. Better mixing and mass transfer can provide a superior finish. Particular benefits can be seen where the composition of the coating is of great importance, for example tin/lead plating.


 Example Tin/Lead Plating

Additional information