When laser cut (or saw cut), steel parts can develop heavy slag on the edges (see picture above). The slag is developed as the metal is melted during the laser cutting action and then re-forms on the edges on the ‘bottom’ of the part. The excess metal can be removed by hand grinding; however, if the parts are small or there are many parts to be cleaned, hand finishing is not efficient.
The finished part above was barrel tumbled part-on-part to remove the slag and excess metal on the edges. A small addition of 36 Mesh Aluminum Oxide Grit increased the abrasiveness of the tumbling action allowing the process to go from the before to the after in only 30 minutes. While the surface finish is rough after the tumbling process, the parts can be painted or sent through additional steps using other tumbling media to smooth out the finish and possibly polish the part.