Honing services use fine-grit abrasives to provide a very high finish to metals when super finishes or tight tolerances are required. Typically, honing uses abrasive stones or silicon-carbide slips that move in both rotational and axial directions to obtain a specified finish or dimensional tolerance. For industrial applications, honing services often use bench or pedestal-mounted honing machines that are powered by electric motors. Honing services may also use flexible hones or hand hones, and various types of honing sticks and tools to refine the finish of internal bores and external surfaces. Honing services are categorized according to geographic area and may meet specific quality standards or industry requirements from national or international organizations. Honing service certifications include ISO 9001:2000.
Honing services differ widely in terms of processes or technologies, surface geometry, and product capabilities. Honing processes include through-feed honing, external honing, internal honing, flat honing, bore honing, and spherical honing. There are three choices for surface geometry: inner diameter (ID), outer diameter (OD), and flat surfaces. With metal tubes, cylinders, and other hollow circular objects, either the inner diameter or the outer diameter is honed. Planes, sheets, and other flat metal surfaces may also be honed as necessary. With regard to their product capabilities, honing services may finish new components or restore to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications, perform on-site or field work, or offer refinishing services.
Honing services differ in terms of materials processed. Metals include aluminum, copper and copper alloys, iron and cast iron, nickel and nickel alloys, precious metals, steel and stainless steel, steel alloys, and titanium. As a metal removal process, honing is used mainly after boring, casting, drilling, reaming, or sintering. Although highly precise bore geometries and surface finishes can be achieved for most metals, honing services must select the proper abrasive, coolant, and tooling. During honing operations, the individual grits in the abrasive remove the metal as small chips. As a rule, honing services use softer honing stones for harder materials. In addition to metals, honing services may process ceramic, metallized ceramic, fiberglass, or plastic materials. Ceramic honing is used with ceramic tubes and rods, and to produce sharp surfaces.