Metal Finishing & Blasting Guides & Resources
Below are articles on metal finishing & blasting guides & resources designed to provide assistance in better understanding your process and how tumbling or blasting work. These primers are both general in nature as well as detailed to specific applications. Please review and call us to discuss these resources and how we can help with your application.
Compare and contrast all the types of surface finishing equipment and processes including barrel tumbling, vibratory tumbling and abrasive blasting.
Which stone size to use is determined by the ability to separate the stone from the part, holes the stone could jam and the ability of the stone to get at the desired surface. Large stones give a rapid cut, but coarser surface and more rounding of edges. Small stones give a slower cut, smaller edge break and a finer surface.
Although vibratory finishing techniques are similar to barrel finishing and usually involve the same components, the equipment is different. The vibratory finishing process creates smoother surfaces and can abrade inside deep cavities or tubular parts.
There are two basic types of small vibratory finishers, tub type finisher, which is a rectangular tank with a rounded bottom, and the bowl finishers, which are shaped like a doughnut. The small vibratory tub finisher is more aggressive than the bowl finishers, but the tubs are usually not as price efficient.
Tumble blasting removes hard-to-get-at flash and burrs. Finishing small parts with recesses or blind- or cross-holes can pose problems. Tumble blasting can do the job consistently and economically.
For low processing cost per piece, none can approach mass finishing productivity of the vibratory system. With the proper application of media and compounds, finishes in the 10 to 4 micro-inch range can be produced in a vibrator. The system can also be automated to eliminate virtually all hand labor.
Practical multi-step process guidelines for cutting and polishing plastic optical frames in a barrel tumbling operation.
As the barrel rotates, the parts fall out, leaving all the gates in the barrel. The parts are degated, deflashed and separated at one station, completely eliminating moving the parts.
Given a specific size tumbling machine or vibratory machine, it is necessary to determine the number of parts that can be finished at one time. Alternatively, if production requirements are known, barrel tumbler or vibratory tumbler size must be determined.
The typical multi-step operations involved in cutting and polishing plastic parts include (1) Cutting to remove tool marks or parting lines; (2) Refining the surface to remove scratches or roughness; (3) Polishing to produce luster; (4) Wiping off to remove excess waxes and deposit a sealing coat.
This guide for steel shot burnishing provides some basic guidelines and practical process recommendations for using steel shot in either a vibratory tumbler or barrel tumbler.
Blast cabinet applications include cleaning, deburring, decorating, deflashing, etching, finishing, honing and peening. Scale, corrosion, old paint and other surface materials are removed in minutes, leaving metal surfaces free of foreign matter and contamination.
Blasting cabinet systems are divided into Tumble Blasters which are a semi-automated, multi-part batch process and Blasting Cabinet used by an operator to blast one part at a time. Portable Blasters can blast all types of dry blast media without requiring changes in hardware.
Understanding the mesh and grit size can be confusing. The description is actually quite simple and conversions from mesh to micron are contained in the chart.
Abrasive blasting results will vary by controlling such factors as hardness of the abrasive, abrasive particle size, velocity of abrasive stream, angle of abrasive gun, distance from the work, method of application and work flow.
Barrel finishing is a surface improving operation in which a mixture of parts, media and compounds are placed in a barrel for the purpose of rounding corners, deburring, grinding, descaling, deflashing, improving surface finish, burnishing, polishing and radiusing parts in bulk.
Where Do I Start? Deburring or Surface Finishing? Barrel or Vibratory Finishing: Choosing the Right System for the Job: Compare and contrast specific surface finish systems to identify to proper process for any application.
Different abrasive blasting media are required for different applications. Blasting media can be used for purposes such as cleaning, stripping, etching, strengthening and polishing. In addition to the media type, grit or mesh size is another factor to consider for your application.