Vibratory tumbling can be a successful method for deburring, polishing and surface finishing. When a vibe process is operating correctly, the load (blend of tumbling media and parts) will not only vibrate against each other but the entire load will tumble or cascade from the outer wall to the inner wall in a bowl and from one side wall to the other in a tub. This circulation provides maximum energy transfer to the load. If the vibe is not filled properly, the load will typically tumble from the middle toward the sides forming a high point in the middle of the load and lead to poor and inconsistent results.
The tumbling media transmits the vibration energy to parts. The interaction of the media and the parts achieves the desired finish. Typical media to part ratios (by volume) of 3 to 1 or higher will keep the parts separated in the load and minimize part-to-part interaction or impingement. Low media levels or a low ratio will not allow the media to properly ‘carry’ the parts in the process.