Advantages of Lapping
Lapping is a free abrasive machining process. An abrasive compound in a slurry is applied to a lap (tool). The work part is placed on top of the lap and moved to cause cutting/material removal at a controlled rate. This produces finished components without introducing stresses and heat damage associated with other processes such as grinding. By comparison, fine grinding would be considered a roughing operation to be performed before lapping.
Lapping Offers These Advantages:
- Since there is no or very low stress induced, little distortion occurs compared with conventional machining or grinding on thin parts, parts made of dissimilar material, or stress and heat sensitive materials like stainless steel. Using lapping techniques it is possible to remove as little as .000002" or as much as desired. Typical stock removal after grinding is .0002"-.0005".
- Produces highly accurate surface geometry. Components can be produced with flatness, parallelism or squareness tolerances of 0.5 micron (.000020") over areas as large as 32 X 18 inches.
- Sizes and dimensions can be held to very close tolerances. Overall size can be maintained to within 0.5 micron (.000020"). Angularity to within 5 arc seconds. Size tolerance to 0.1 micron can be maintained at a given temperature. These figures can be greatly improved through optical polishing.
- Very good quality and excellent repeatability of surface finish on all types of materials. Soft non ferrous materials as well as hardened tool steel, carbide ceramics and even diamond can be lapped to surface roughness below 2 micro inches.
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