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What Is Lapping?

Flat Lapping is an ancient machining technique. The caveman that first sharpened a stick by rubbing it against a stone covered with sand was the first to discover lapping. These days, we are a bit more sophisticated.

Lapping is a precision process or combination of processes used to provide flatness, parallelism, size and surface finishes to extremely demanding tolerances. The process is a manufacturing method that employs particles of an abrasive material to remove stock from a surface. It is comparable to sanding or grinding, except that sanding and grinding use abrasives which are fixed (bonded abrasives) whereas lapping employs abrasives which are suspended in a liquid carrier, and are free to move about. Lapping is sometimes referred to as 'Free Abrasive Machining'.

Lapping and fine grinding are processes used where the surface finish, flatness, or parallelism of the work piece must be held to very close tolerances. Lapping can achieve a flatness rating of one millionth of an inch (0.000001"), parallelism tolerances of ten millionths of an inch (.00001") and surface finishes to 0.6Ra. using special handling and tooling techniques.

Abrading Methods can achieve flatness tolerances of 12 millionths (0.000012"), parallelism of fifty millionths (0.00005") and flatness of 6 Ra on a volume production basis. We can achieve tolerances at the limits of the lapping process (down to one millionth of an inch) on a case-by-case basis.

Abrading Methods can provide lapping, free abrasive machining, flat honing, fine grinding, polishing, burnishing, precision fine grinding as well as special deburring and cleaning techniques to process your flat surfaces. With over 30 years of experience, special equipment and proprietary processes, Abrading Methods can produce flat and parallel surfaces from thousandths to millionths of an inch, in production quantities, at an economical cost.



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