The applications list shown below was compiled by a major OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) of finishing equipment. As you can see by examining some of the commercial applications listed, a lot more goes on in mass finishing than just simple deburring. These applications say as much about the ingenuity of the people who developed them as it does about the versatility of the various processes involved.
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Centrifugal Barrel Equipment Option: Compartmentalization
Centrifugal Barrel Finishing Machine – This equipment is used for producing very refined surface finishes on precision parts. It makes use of centrifugal forces which can speed up abrasive process times by a factor of ten when compared with other processes such as barrel or vibratory finishing

1. Deburring and radiusing of machined steel components.

2. Deflashing zinc, aluminum or magnesium die castings.

3. Deburring and edge-contour of powdered (sintered) metal parts

4. Deburring of any punched, sheared, or formed (bent) metal

5. Washing oil off of screw machine parts. or dry processing of screw machine parts for oil adsorption, smoothing and polishing especially in high pressure centrifugal machines (to reduce or eliminate effluent from conventional aqueous finishing)

Even parts with extraordinary size and shape considerations are now candidates for mass finishing processes, as this machined titanium bulkhead for a fighter jet demonstrates.
Even parts with extraordinary size and shape considerations are now candidates for mass finishing processes, as this machined titanium bulkhead for a fighter jet demonstrates.

6.  Deflashing plastic parts, also radiusing abrasively or producing dry process polishing effects.

7.  Pre-plate finishing items such as golf clubs, hand tools, small components, costume jewelry and many other items.

Vibratory machinery designs can accommodate oversized and extremely heavy parts such as the 1200 lb. castings shown here. The advantages of this kind of processing is not just economic (reducing direct labor) but technical as well. Uniformity of edge and surface finish of parts can contribute to increased functionality. Photo courtesy of Samuel R. Thompson
Vibratory machinery designs can accommodate oversized and extremely heavy parts such as the 1200 lb. castings shown here. The advantages of this kind of processing is not just economic (reducing direct labor) but technical as well. Uniformity of edge and surface finish of parts can contribute to increased functionality. Photo courtesy of Samuel R. Thompson

8. Improving surface finish on 3 ft. (900mm) – 4 ft. (1200mm) cermatel coated jet-engine stators from 55 micro-inches Ra to 19 micro-inch Ra

9. Improving surface finish on turbine blades and vane clusters. In sequential multiple processing as low as 5 micro-inch Ra

10. Improving surface finish and polishing surgical instruments and biomedical implants and devices.

11. Polishing brass and copper torch tip components for plasma M.I.B. welding torches.

12. Cleaning/degreasing automotive used alternator and starter housings.

13. Cleaning/degreasing brass power line clamps and aluminum cable terminals.

14. Prepaint finish on reclaimed plastic telephones.

15. Burnishing (polishing) of pewter ware and pewter figurines, jewelry etc.

Figure 4 – The need for some edge preparation on cutting tools in many applications has been well documented. Most of the processes currently utilized (including manual ones) concentrate on modifying the edge to produce an edge land to strengthen the edge. Although these types of proceses improve cutting edge geometries they do not typically address surface profile topography issues at the cutting edge such as profile skewness, isotropiciy, load bearing ratio and residual stress correction.  Specialized high-energy methods can and do.
Figure 4 – The need for some edge preparation on cutting tools in many applications has been well documented. Most of the processes currently utilized (including manual ones) concentrate on modifying the edge to produce an edge land to strengthen the edge. Although these types of proceses improve cutting edge geometries they do not typically address surface profile topography issues at the cutting edge such as profile skewness, isotropiciy, load bearing ratio and residual stress correction. Specialized high-energy methods can and do.

16. Two-step deburring and cob drying and polishing of kitchen cutlery, pruning shears, industrial/commercial scissors and putty knife blades.

17. Deburring and weld discoloration blending on components used in the manufacture of exercise machines, stair climbers, etc.

18. Degreasing of jumbo jet landing gear (entire brake housing, torque tube case and stator plates)

19. Improve surface finish to under 10 micro-inch Ra on titanium, brass and stainless ball valves from 3 inches (75mm) to 2 feet (600mm in diameter

20. Deburring sintered metal clutch plates, gears and hubs for automotive engines.

21 Degreasing fasteners (nuts, bolts, etc.) used in the assembly of aircraft brakes.

22. Deburring saw cut end mill blanks prior to fluting and sharpening

Ceramic 3/8 inch angle cut triangle shaped abrasive media.  This type of media is used for initial heavy grinding and roughing operations in centrifugal barrel finishing and other equipment.  It can produce deburring, edge-contour, machine mark blending and smoothing effects very rapidly.  Often used to reduce or eliminate hand or manual deburring operations
Ceramic 3/8 inch angle cut triangle shaped abrasive media. This type of media is used for initial heavy grinding and roughing operations in centrifugal barrel finishing and other equipment. It can produce deburring, edge-contour, machine mark blending and smoothing effects very rapidly. Often used to reduce or eliminate hand or manual deburring operations

23. Coloring pure sterling silver grain to casting grade in a part-on-part (no media with special compound)

24. Deburring and blending clear plastic kidney dialysis pump bodies.

25. Smooth and burnish brass, bronze and stainless steel boat propellers (replacing most hand grinding and buffing operations)

26. Deburr and dry stainless steel cooking stove coil supports

27. Deburr and smooth machined cast iron manifolds for C.A.T. tractors.

28. Descale screwdriver blades, worm gears and other parts with heat treat scale

This photo vividly shows the difference between an as machined surface (the upper coupon with the fly-cutter milling) and the test coupon below which has had milling marks blended in, and a typical isotropic surface finish developed with centrifugal barrel finishing
This photo vividly shows the difference between an as machined surface (the upper coupon with the fly-cutter milling) and the test coupon below which has had milling marks blended in, and a typical isotropic surface finish developed with centrifugal barrel finishing

29. Separating floor tile that sticks together, and scrub firing sand from surfaces utilizing a vibratory finishing operation with dry performed media.

30. Burnishing zinc belt buckles.

32. Separating unwanted scrap “knockouts” from fineblanked parts utilizing a vibratory screen separator

33. Burnishing 303 stainless steel food service stainless steel food service ketchup pump cylinders using 5/16 x 3/4 inch angle cut cylinder media in a vibratory process

This type of “inline continuous” or "flow-through" unit is used to accommodate very high volumes of parts. Parts are introduced at the head of the machine, and are deburred and finished within the dwell time the parts remain in the media mass as they travel the length of the tube. Parts and media are then separated at the end of the tube, and media is conveyed back to the head of the machine where it is reintroduced to the media mass inside the processing chamber tube.  Photo courtesy of Giant Finishing Inc.
This type of “inline continuous” or “flow-through” unit is used to accommodate very high volumes of parts. Parts are introduced at the head of the machine, and are deburred and finished within the dwell time the parts remain in the media mass as they travel the length of the tube. Parts and media are then separated at the end of the tube, and media is conveyed back to the head of the machine where it is reintroduced to the media mass inside the processing chamber tube. Photo courtesy of Giant Finishing Inc.

34. Pre-paint finish of golf balls us using a large and small media combination in a vibratory process. Larger media drives smaller media points into dimpled areas of the part. The method left a much smoother and uniform surface finish than the blasting method which had been utilized previously.

35. Deburr and finish surgical needles 2″ (50mm) to 18″ (450mm) in length utilizing a non-abrasive media in a vibratory finishing machine.

36. Multiple function vibratory process (burnish, degrease, chip removal, and deburring) of brass locking cylinders that are internal parts for keyed locks. Two vibratory machines with

A wide variety of parts can be processed in both barrel and vibratory systems, to meet important functional edge and surface finish requirements.
A wide variety of parts can be processed in both barrel and vibratory systems, to meet important functional edge and surface finish requirements.

PLC controls were utilized to adjust the wash, rinse, drain and shake out cycles which vary from 30 seconds to an hour or more. Process is a part-on-part method with alkaline cleaning liquids

37. Deflashing of plastic circuit breaker components. Process used steel media in a continuous flow-through vibratory finishing machine, and was able to process 3000 parts per hour on a continuous basis.

 

typical partsIf you have a question or would like to add an application you are familiar with include your ame, date and application(s) in the form below. If you are familiar with these kinds of applications, do you have a TOP TEN list? What processes produced the most dramatic improvement or solved the most vexing problem? Generic information only please, avoid trade names and commercialized jargon. Thanks.

by Dave Davidson, SME Tech Community Advisor, dryfinish@gmail.com   Ask about free sample processing

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