Disruptive surface
finishing technology

DLyte is a surface finishing system for metal parts requiring high performance or superior finishing. DLyte equipment uses the novel DryLyte Technology which brings significant technical advantages over competing technologies, such as abrasive finishing, robotic grinding and polishing, mechanical brush and grinding systems. In addition, it achieves a quality equivalent to manual grinding and polishing automated, fast and cost-effectively.

Unlike traditional surface finishing systems, the DLyte system obtains consistent finish, avoiding any marks on the surface or patterns and is able to process complex geometries without generating micro scratches on the surface and preserving the geometry. DLyte respects the tolerances of the piece, delivering a mirror finish.

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The media used is formed by a set of spheres of non-conductive polymeric material that is capable of retaining liquid electrolyte without it being able to escape. When contacting a surface, the sphere can only contact the peaks of roughness, and it is only at these contact points that the oxidation and removal of material occurs.

In this way, the finishing is highly selective, and is better able to maintain the geometry of the piece. This selectivity allows dry electropolishing to achieve the same roughness reduction as liquid electropolishing while removing less metal overall.

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“The process extracts the material only from the peaks
of the roughness,  it does not round the edges but
penetrates the internal cavities of the piece to which
cannot be accessed mechanically.”

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Comparison vs liquid electropolishing
and abrasive finishing

LIQUID ELECTROPOLISHING

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+ All surfaces contact liquid
+ General oxidation
+ Low discrimination

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DRYLYTE TECHNOLOGY

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+ Spheres contact on roughness peaks
+ Localized oxidation
+ Selective removal of metal
+ Geometry preservation
+ Improved corrosion resistance

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ABRASIVE FINISHING

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+ Plastic deformation of roughness peaks
+ Inclusion of broken abrasive
+ No improved resistance to corrosion
+ Rounding of peaks and geometry harm

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    • LIQUID ELECTROPOLISHING
      DRY ELECTROPOLISHING
      ABRASIVE FINISHING
      Just polishing in one step
      Grinding + polishing in one step (macro and microscopic finishing)
      Several steps required to perform grinding and polishing
      No selective grinding: the electrolyte impacts on the valleys' surface)
      It improves surfaces selectively, layer by layer, using polymeric particles with a larger diameter than the roughness profile (avoiding the electrolyte's impact on the valleys' surface)
      -
      -
      More than 5 times quicker than mechanical abrasive finishing
      Long-lasting processes
      -
      It does not round the edges of the pieces and preserves their geometry
      It rounds the edges of the metal parts, since the system is based on applying pressure and movement with abrasive media
      -
      Suitable to treat small corners and dead zones
      Not recommended for small corners and dead zones, since it is not able to apply pressure and movement with accuracy
      -
      It makes visible design flaws and material porosity, since DryLyte removes material by ion transport making
      It causes plastic deformation of peaks, which can hide design flaws and material porosity
      -
      Suitable for fragile parts, as the media does not apply mechanical forces to the workpieces
      It may damage fragile parts, as the surface improvement is done by the application of mechanical forces
      -
      Parts can be treated partially, by not applying electrical conductivity or covering a specific area of the piece, which protects the required areas
      It requires the use of very hard materials to protect the areas which requires no treatment
      -
      It achieves clean, inert, and biocompatible surfaces
      It may cause broken abrasives inclusions on the surface, which requires a cleaning step
      -
      Suitable for inner channels, by the application of internal cathodes which allow direct electrical conductivity through these channels
      Not suitable for inner channels
      <50% roughness reduction without modifing geometries
      It achieves lower surface roughness (<80% roughness reduction, with low material removal and no patterns on the surface)
      It generates scratches on the surface
      Side effects (oxidation, passivation, milky surface & orange peel)
      No side effects (oxidation, passivation, milky surface & orange peel)
      -
      Non homogeneus results (since the polishing liquid takes a straight way along the surface)
      Homogeneous results, as the current flows through the media randomly; this reduces differences in current density within the piece surface features
      -
      Not suitable for all alloys
      Suitable for any metal alloy, including cemented carbide (the process time is not affected by the hardness of the material)
      -
      It increses corrosion resistance, but to a lesser extent than dry electropolishing
      It increases corrosion resistance up to 4 times comparted to liquid electropolishing, while improving the parts' surface
      -
    • LIQUID ELECTROPOLISHING
      DRY ELECTROPOLISHING
      ABRASIVE
      Parameter adjustments for different surface areas are required
      It does not require adjustments based on the surface to treat
      It requires adjustment and maintenance of the media and partially replacement of it to keep the performance within the lifespan
      Material removal is difficult to control for pieces with tight tolerances, as it is aggressive in terms of material removal per minute
      Controlled and homogeneous results, since it is adjustable in terms of material removal per minute.
      -
      It may generate sludge, which requires to be removed from the tanks and cathodes to keep the process stable
      No need of electrolyte adjustment or maintenance, as it is performed automatically by the equipment; the metal removed from the work pieces remains in the media
      -
      It needs replacement of a portion of the used solution for a good performance and to guarantee a high-quality metal surface finishing process
      High-quality surface finishing within the whole lifespan of the media, which is replaced completely after its use.
      -
      -
      No need of peripheral equipment to treat parts
      It requires waste water cleaning and recirculating systems and sludge treatment equipment
      -
      No need to change the media within the process
      It is necessary to change of the media and further handling of parts, since it involves several steps
    • LIQUID ELECTROPOLISHING
      DRY ELECTROPOLISHING
      ABRASIVE
      Highly-corrosive and toxic liquid mixtures of phosphoric and sulphuric acids. This may be dangerous for professionals during handling.
      Electrolyte media with very low acid concentration, which can be handled and stored without additional safety measures
      It usually requires compound and chemical accelerators in large amounts, which involves a danger for workers during handling
      High risk for workers in case of accidental splashes, as the liquids are corrosives at high temperatures
      No risk of accidental splashes, since the media is solid at low temperature
      -
      Handling and maintenance of the tank and the cathode cleaning operation involves risks for the workers, as metals removed from the work pieces remain in the liquid and partially attached to the cathode
      Workers are not exposed to the cathode, since metal removed from the work pieces remains in the media
      Handling of sludge and compounds with high concentration of metals may be also harmful for workers if protective measures are not strictly ensured
      It may require specific safety measures because of gas filtering, to protect human health and environment
      DryLyte volatile organic compounds (VOC) are very low, thus requiring no specific safety measures and far below the limits to be dangerous for human health or environment
      -
      -
      It does not generate dust during the process
      It generates dust, which can be dangerous for the health, since the particles that cause damage are often invisible to the naked eye; this is why the eventual health effects of exposure can take many years to be visible
      -
      Silent process
      The proceess is usually very noisy and can lead to hearing loss in case of inadequate hearing protection or prolonged exposure to noise in the workplace
      -
      No need of additional manual finishing steps
      It may require in some cases a final manual buffing to achieve the required surface quality, which involves an additional exposure to dust and toxic particles to workers
      -
      Cleaning method based on a soft ultrasonic or steamer process to remove the electrolyte that remains on the surface of the piece
      It requires a complex cleaning process involving toxics to remove any abrasive, oil or other products that remain on the surface of the piece
    • LIQUID ELECTROPOLISHING
      DRY ELECTROPOLISHING
      ABRASIVE
      It requires additional safety measures to be put in place for proper disposal, due to environmental concerns related to highly corrosive and toxic mixtures of phosphoric and sulfuric acids and sludges containing metals
      No additional safety measures required, due to the low acid concentration in the electrolyte
      It requires compound and chemical accelerators in large amounts, which involves an eventual risk of discharge into the environment
      The post-dip can cause a discharge in waterways or drains
      The handling of the electrolyte reduces the probability of discharge in drains and waterways
      Liquids used in liquid electropolishing and in the post-dip can cause a discharge in waterways or drains
      Sludges and liquids need to be treated by specific services to ensure environmental compliance conforming to regulations.
      The waste generated can be handled by standard waste management services
      Sludges and liquids need to be treated by specific services to ensure environmental compliance conforming to regulations
      -
      Low water consumption, as it only needs water to adjust conductivity of the media
      Large amounts of water are generally necessary to finish, especially for high quality surface finishing requirements; if different materials are processed in the same media, a heavy flow of water is required to prevent pollution
    • LIQUID ELECTROPOLISHING
      DRY ELECTROPOLISHING
      ABRASIVE
      It usually requires previous steps to finish the workpieces completely, as well as peripheral equipment to store and treat sludges and liquids
      It replaces several finishing steps, including the corrosion resistance improvement in just one compact equipment
      It requires several steps to finish the workpieces completely, as well as peripheral equipment to treat water and sludges and an isolated plant to improve corrosion resistance
      It requires to be isolated and to put in place specific safety and regulatory measures
      There is no need of an isolated plant to process parts, with the consequent reduction of required space in the factory
      -
      It requires replacement and deep cleaning of the tanks to process different materials
      It achieves quick an optimal ROI and major savings for high-end applications requiring defect free surfaces (it can process different materials in the same equipment just replacing the media)
      It may have some hidden costs including high scrapping ratio
      -
      5 times quicker than abrasive finishing with the consequent reduction of required space in the factory
      Long-lasting processes
    01.

    DryLyte Technology Benefits

    The DryLyte Technology offers a wide range of finishing media. The consumables, designed and developed in our test lab, allow us to precisely meet our customers’ requirements.

    Homogeneous results
    01. Homogeneous results

    DLyte achieves homogeneous results across the surface and eliminates micro scratches, as opposed to abrasive polishing. The system works efficiently at a micro and macroscopic level.

    Geometry preservation
    02. Geometry preservation

    Respects the tolerances and preserves the initial shape, even the edges, guaranteeing the most precise result. It does not round the edges as there is no mechanical abrasion of the surface.

    Best-in-class surface roughness
    03. Best-in-class surface roughness

    Reduces the roughness over 80% avoiding undesired effects. Liquid electropolishing is not able to reduce the roughness more than 50% without generating side effects like orange peel or pitting.

    Low material removal
    04. Low material removal

    Removes material only from roughness peaks as the diameter of the particles is bigger than the roughness profile. It penetrates internal cavities that cannot be accessed mechanically.

    Consistent repeatability
    05. Consistent repeatability

    The DryLyte Technology ensures stable results among various batches along the electrolyte media lifespan. There is no physical wear, as would typically occur with abrasive particles.

    Enhances negative surface skewness
    06. Enhances negative surface skewness

    DLyte increases the surface bearing contact area allowing uniform lubricant film distribution and improving the bearing ratio and reducing the friction between the pieces.

    Improve the corrosion resistance
    07. Improve the corrosion resistance

    Reduces wear and improves fracture and fatigue strength, while improving the surface quality of metal parts. It also removes embedded free iron, contaminants and heat tint or oxide scale.

    Biocompatibility proven
    08. Biocompatibility proven

    Uses only polymer particles with acids for surface improvement. It ensures that the parts meet all the appropriate requirements to pass a risk-benefit analysis evaluating biocompatibility and toxicity.

    Avoids grinding texture patterns
    09. Avoids grinding texture patterns

    This is the only technology that allows to remove roughness and improve the corrosion resistance of the metal pieces while reducing the number of processes required in the manufacturing process.

    DLyte solutions consist of three different
    typologies based on DryLyte technology,
    divided into two types of systems.

    Immersion systems

    Surface finishing processes by immersion are carried out by placing the metal pieces to be treated in a working bowl or tank filled with electrolytic media, consisting of solid bodies that completely cover the parts. The consumable material chosen may be of different types, depending on the results sought. For this purpose, different kinds of consumable are used: dry polymeric particles without any additive or polymer particles mixed with a moderator liquid that enhances final brightness.

    The consumable reduces the surface roughness without impacting on the original geometry, since the metal removal is based on ion transport instead of abrasion of the surface. DLyte’s equipment uses electricity with specific electrical parameters and moves the parts fixed by fixtures inside a bowl full of media. Every time an electrolyte particle impacts the metal surface, there is an ion transport that removes irregularities from the peaks of the surface.

    Dry

    Dry surface finishing is a patented technology for grinding and polishing metals by ion transport using free solid bodies. This system is based on solid media with no liquid added.

    It works by combining the electrical flow created by the high-precision rectifier with the movement of the pieces through the electropolishing media. This results in an ion exchange, removing material only from the peaks of roughness.

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    How it Works

    It is based on dry solid particles for immersion systems. These bodies collide with each other, starting an ion exchange and removing the outer layer of the metal part, to eliminate imperfections on the metal piece.

    Dry Surface Finishing’s Benefits

    +  Faster surface finishing processes.
    +  Easiest to manage.
    +  For simple geometries.

    Dry Suspension

    Dry Suspension is a revolutionary solution based on a new electrolyte that combines polymer particles and a moderator liquid, especially designed to improve the results of conventional dry electropolishing processes.

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    How it Works

    The Dry Suspension consumable consists in a mixture of solid particles and liquid for immersion systems. These free bodies collide into each other, starting an electrolysis process that eliminates imperfections on the surface. The moderator liquid improves the final gloss of the part.

    Dry Surface Finishing’s Benefits

    +  For complex geometries.
    +  Shiniest results.
    +  Part protected by the liquid: minimizes undesired
    oxidation and reduces the contact surface.

    Projection systems

    The Dry Projection technology, released to be used in the DLyte eBlast machine, is a new solution that provides a stream of solid-electrolyte particles propelled by a moderator liquid media to improve the surface quality. The media is projected towards a localized area of the piece.

    In comparison to liquid electropolishing, this moderator liquid is not directly involved in the surface finishing process. Its main function is carrying the particles; its specifically developed composition contributes to maintain the connectivity and conductivity between particles during the process. Additionally, this liquid creates a protective layer over the metal surface, accumulating especially in roughness valleys, thus protecting the surface from pitting.

    Electro-Blasting

    This new projected electropolishing opens up a wide range of possibilities for the treatment of metal surfaces with non-homogeneous roughness or complex geometries (the current main obstacle of AM parts), as well as large, heavy pieces. This feature can provide finishing solutions in sectors such as 3D printing, automobile industry, railway and specially injection molds.

    How it works

    The Dry Suspension system is based on a mixture of solid particles and liquid for projection systems.
    Particles collide with each other through the liquid emulsion which, when agitated, becomes conductive.

    Dry suspension’s benefits

    +  Higher adaptability and customization.
    +  For complex geometries.
    +  Part protected by the liquid.

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    How to know which
    technology meets your needs

    Our surface finishing experts provide guidance about the technology and system that better suit to your surface finishing challenge. Those are some of the key factors which need to be taken into account for a successful choice:

    Material
    01. Material

    The material being treated is a crucial factor in determining the appropriate electrolyte formulation and process parameters. At our test lab, we have developed consumables that enable us to precisely meet the requirements of our customers. There are many factors that must be considered when treating a material, such as its composition, density, and hardness. Our team of experts has extensive knowledge of various metals and alloys and can determine the best electrolyte formulation and process parameters for each material.

    Requirements
    02. Requirements

    Every part is unique, and achieving the desired surface finish requires a customized approach. That’s why we begin our projects by closely collaborating with our clients, evaluating their goals for their pieces, as well as the initial part condition and manufacturing process. Using our extensive expertise, we define the optimal process parameters, media formula, and geometry that will deliver the perfect solution. This meticulous attention to detail is what sets us apart and ensures that our customers always receive the best possible outcome.

    Geometry
    03. Geometry

    Our equipment uses mechanical movements and electrical parameters to ensure optimal media and electricity flow across the surface, achieving homogeneity on the part. The DLyte systems can process parts of various geometries, shapes, and sizes with precision. Our equipment is designed to provide precise and uniform results, regardless of the shape or size of the part being treated. Our immersion and projection systems are highly versatile and can meet the surface finishing needs of a wide range of industries and applications.

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