There are two ways to make various types of faucets such as basin faucets and bathtub shower faucets. The faucet manufacturing process has become highly automated, with computers controlling most of the machines. Productivity and efficiency have therefore improved over the years.
1) Larger faucets may require extensive machining operations. For example, some kitchen faucet bodies using rotary machining centers require more than 32 machining operations. With the right machine, it only takes 14 seconds to make a part.
2) Some faucet manufacturers use hot forging instead of machining because this method produces a near-net shape in about three seconds with very little waste. Forging is the process of shaping metal by deforming it in a certain way. In hot forging, heated metal is pressed into a die that is nearly the same shape as the body of the faucet. Slowly increase the pressure over a few seconds to ensure the mold is completely filled with metal. Only a small amount of machining is required to produce precise dimensions.
3) After machining, the part is ready for finishing. Those components that come into contact with water may first require special surface treatment to remove any residual lead. This involves a leaching process that removes lead molecules from the brass surface. The traditional finish is chrome as this material is most resistant to corrosion. First, a base coat of electroplated nickel, followed by a thin coat of electroplated chrome. The chromium layer is deposited from a bath containing certain additives that improve corrosion resistance.
4) If brass plating is used, a clear polymer coating is applied for durability. For white and other color finishes, spray a similar polymer or epoxy plastic with added color to the faucet in a live environment. Both coatings are then thermally cured.
5) To obtain a polished brass look, physical vapor deposition is used, suitable for pressure testing after the parts are assembled.
6) The arc heats the target to vaporize the material, then hits the faucet surface at high speed and reacts with the gas mixture. One gas provides color and the other provides corrosion resistance. When the target material combines with these gases, it adheres to the faucet components, creating a nearly indestructible bond. Some manufacturers use helical coils around the target to provide even distribution of the coating.