Achieving a near-mirror finish on many metals using only mass finishing such as vibratory tumbling or barrel tumbling can be a challenging process. The combination of tumbling media, equipment and compound will determine the results. And these results will vary depending on the type of metal being polished.
This stainless steel part has a very flat geometry with minor scratches and imperfections. Generally, the heavier and rounder the tumbling media, the better the surface finish. Additionally, a tumbling process that produces a smooth, even tumbling action will produce the best results.
The part was barrel tumbled to give a nice rolling action of the media against the part. A Stainless Steel Round Ball (Sphere) in combination with a highly lubricating, tumbling compound (Kramco 910) kept the process clean and resulted in a near-mirror finish on this stainless steel part. The total tumbling time get from the before (top picture) to the after (bottom picture) was 1 hour.