FAQ - frequently asked questions

Does the ISF Process cause hydrogen embrittlement?

The ISF Process produces a slightly oxidizing environment in the vibratory equipment. Hydrogen is not generated. The ISF Process has been repeatedly tested and proven to be free from causing hydrogen embrittlement. The process is metallurgically safe.

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Does the ISF Process have any detrimental effect on the geometry of the part?

No. The ISF Process has been certified for use on DIN 2 (AGMA Q 13) quality gears. Material refined from the surfaces of gear flanks is uniform in profile and from tooth to tooth. Depth of material removed by the ISF Process is typically between 1 and 4µ depending upon the surface condition prior to processing.

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Are there safety or environmental concerns with the chemicals used in the ISF Process?

The chemicals are non-toxic and non-hazardous and have been used in industrial settings for over 20 years. However, the standard precautions when dealing with chemicals should always be observed.

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Can the ISF process be used on all metals?

The answer is yes and no. The process is typically used on components manufactured from Steel, Stainless Steel as well as Nickel alloys and Titanium. We have successfully processed components manufactured from Copper, Brass and Aluminium Alloys but these tend to be the exception.

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Do all parts benefit from the ISF process?

No. The ISF process is mainly used to improve the tribological or dynamic properties of a component. In some cases it is also used to improve the harmonics of a single component or of a complete mechanical system.

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How long has this process been in use?

REM Chemicals pioneered chemically accelerated vibratory finishing in 1983 and have continualy improved it since then. In 1989 the non-abrasive processing technique was introduced. The process has been tested and proven to be effective in both industrial and military applications.

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Is the ISF Process expensive?

No. Whether you choose to use our sub-contracting services or purchase equipment from our sister company, Osro GmbH, the process is extremely cost effective. In fact, once the savings of reduced downtime and extended service life are taken into account, there won’t be any question as to the value of the ISF Process.

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How much does the sub-contracting service cost?

This depends upon several factors, the main ones being as follows:

How many parts are to be processed?
What is the duration of the process?
What size of machine is required to carry out the process?
How much operator involvement is required to carry out the process?
Is process and surface reading documentation required?

Until answers to the above have been established it is impossible to give a firm quotation.

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Can a firm quotation be given on the basis of a component drawing?

Unfortunately not. Based on our experience we will furnish a budget quotation, but a firm quotation can only be given after we have processed actual components and had the results of these initial tests accepted by the customer.

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Is there a size limitation of parts that can be super finished?

We can process parts as small as the head of a match and weighing only a few grams up to components weighing 2000 kgs in weight.

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Is there a limitation to the number of parts that can be sent for super finishing?

The answer is yes and no. OSF is not in the market of processing mass produced low value components. Our services are designed to meet the needs of companies producing low volume high value components. We are therefore quite prepared to treat components produced in quantities as low as 1 off.

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How quickly can the parts be processed and returned?

Under normal circumstances we return parts within 5 to 7 working days after receipt. This is however not guaranteed. We do offer guaranteed turn around times of 24 hours and less, also at week ends, but only on the basis that we are informed that the components are being despatched to us and that the customer reserves the machine to be used.  There is of course an extra charge for this service.

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Can a particular surface finish be guaranteed?

This depends upon how the particular surface finish is defined. For example if we are given a window of say Ra 0.2 to 0.1 then we will be able to fulfil the requirements, similarly if the requirement is for a surface finish of less than say 0.2. However, if the request is to produce a surface finish of exactly Ra 0.2, we will not be able to fulfil the requirement.

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What is the best surface finish that can be achieved?

This depends to a great extent upon the starting condition of the component in question. It is obvious that we cannot take a component having an Ra of 20 and reduce it to Ra 0.02. However tests have shown that we can easily reduce the surface finish of a gear from Ra 0.6 to Ra 0.08. On tribology test pieces we have produced a surface finish of Ra 0.01 and tests are currently being conducted to produce a surface finish of less than Ra 0.008.

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