FINISHING METHODS can include a wide variety of processes such as lapping, polishing, tumbling, and loose media. However, in keeping with metalworking tradition and for the purposes of this discussion, the term finishing methods will largely be confined to what are commonly called grinding operations. It should be kept in mind, however, that rapid advances in ceramic, cubic boron nitride, and diamond tools, machine rigidity, high-speed spindles, and machine control systems are providing metal workers with many alternatives traditional grinding operations in generating smooth, close-tolerance surfaces. By the same token, the creep-feed grinding process, especially the "continuous dress" version, can effect extremely high rates of stock removal while generating very close size control and good surface finish without causing thermal damage to the workpiece, and it is allowing a grinding process to be substituted for more traditional chipmaking material removal processes.

This article discusses environment issues and regulations related to surface finishing processes. Additional information is a available in the article "Environmental Regulation of Surface Engineering" in this Volume.

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