The process

Lapping is a free abrasive machining process. An abrasive compound in a slurry is applied to a lap (tool). The work part is placed on top of the lap plate and moved to cause cutting/material removal at a controlled rate. This produces finished components without introducing stresses and heat damage associated with other processes such as grinding. By comparison, fine grinding would be considered a roughing operation to be performed before lapping. The operation can be performed either by hand or by machine, depending on the size and requirements of material to be lapped. At Technical Lapping, we are equipped to deal with both hand and machine lapping.


Since there is no or very low stress induced, little distortion occurs compared with conventional machining or grinding on thin parts, parts made of dissimilar material, or stress and heat sensitive materials like stainless steel. Using lapping techniques it is possible to remove as little as .0002" or as much as desired. Typical stock removal after grinding is .002"-.005".

Components can be produced with flatness, parallelism or tolerances of 0.5 micron (.000020"). Sizes and dimensions can be held to very close tolerances. Overall size can be maintained to within 0.5 micron (.000020"). Size tolerance to 0.1 micron can be maintained at a given temperature. Our policy is to provide cost effective solutions, and turnaround times to suit customer deadlines, as we are always aware that lapping is often the last process of a component. Lapping is a cost effective method of machining where components are required to be flat, parallel or require a fine surface finish. Most types of metals can be lapped. We can offer lapping services for items up to 300mm diameter. Some of our customers require components lapped on the critical seating faces after finish machining. By offering this service, we can provide products to our customers in their finished state.

Lapping processes can be used to achieve flatness, parallelism, and desired surface finish in a stress free state. Lapping can also be applied to most non-metallic and metal-alloy materials. Our commitment to quality is second to none and we have operated under ISO9001 certification since 1990.