Deburring stainless steel parts is a well established process that can be accomplished in a variety of different ways. Vibratory tumbling with a ceramic media is a common method. Cycle times are typically 1-2 hours or less. The challenging aspect (read: art) begins when the parts don’t want to behave nicely.
Flat parts or stubborn burrs or scale or oxidation can all create problems when trying to deburr and surface finish a part. The part pictured above (left) is a hardened stainless steel, laser-cut, flat part. Sharp edges, burrs, heat scale and oxidation were all present on this part. Testing in a vibratory tumbler and in a barrel tumbler with a general purpose ceramic media did not provide the necessary deburring and edge rounding. The geometry of the part also lead to the parts sticking or sandwiching together in the tumbler.
In order to get the clean surface finish and proper deburring and edge rounding (right), the part was barrel tumbled with a fast cutting, dense KDF Ceramic Media. To prevent the parts from sticking together, an additional fine media was needed to break the surface tension between the parts and allow them to tumble freely in the barrel. The cycle time for this part was 4 hours.