Industry News

RP Abrasives Celebrates 20 Years in Business!

America’s Preferred Surface Finishing Experts Since 1996

Surface Finishing EquipmentRP Abrasives (RPA) has come a long way in the past 20 years. What started with manually deburring parts for a single customer; has grown to a diverse and ever-growing customer base all the way from Maine, to Texas, to Colorado. With our growing customer base also came the need for an expanded location. Starting at just 600 square feet, RPA now occupies a 16,000 square foot location that enables us to house state-of-the-art surface finishing equipment.

RPA first got its start with manual deburring, and while we still use a variety of hand deburring methods we have since perfected our skills over the past 20 years providing innovative surface finishing services using a range of methods. We not only offer the well known process of vibratory tumbling, but we are one of very few companies in the state that have the capability to offer newer and more advanced, high-energy tumbling.

After we started manually deburring, we then went on to offer the service of high volume polishing to a large cell phone manufacturer. This customer became RPA’s largest. When this customer suddenly moved their production to China, RPA lost more than 80% of its revenue. This would break most companies, but RPA took their best finishing experts and began rebuilding.

Today, with a more diverse and still growing customer base, we still offer polishing and deburring services. This also includes the ability to run some processes day and night, but we now offer much, much more. In addition to the mass finishing capabilities we have also added bead blasting. This addition included 14 bead blasting cabinets. Some materials normally used in blasting are aluminum oxide, silica carbide, or garnet, which even in their finest grits, will leave any substrate it impacts with a much darker “grayer” finish. Whereas glass bead, which RPA also uses, allows the substrate to maintain its base color resulting in a whiter or brighter finish.

Since many of our customers also require their parts to be passivated, RPA has made itself a one stop shop. An older version of passivation uses nitric acid in its passivation process. RPA decided to use a much safe alternative instead, citric acid. Citric acid is not only safe for the environment but it is also superior to nitric acid because it is more selective in its removal of “free irons”. Citric acid passivation is also RoNS & RoHS2 compliant. To help improve corrosion resistance of stainless steel parts, RPA offers ultrasonic passivation to it’s line up of surface finishing services. This process uses ultrasonic sound waves to drive the citric acid deep into the part, removing the free ions, and allowing for the chromium in the stainless steel to form a thin microscopic shell on the outside of the part. The ultrasonic waves help assist in removal of the free ions by creating motion as the free ions are being removed.

None of this would be possible if not for the hard work of our great employees, some of which have been here since the beginning. In fact, 70% of our employees have been with us for 5+ years. Our employees and their skills are what allow us to design and develop specialized finishes for our customers as they are developing new products. They are the reason customers have come to rely on RPA for their surface finishing and deburring needs.