Deburring is, to put it simply, a finishing method used in industrial settings and manufacturing environments. Metal is frequently machined using many processes in order to create pieces of specific shape and size, and it may be welded, molded, cast, trimmed, slit or sheared. These procedures often create ragged edges or protrusions. The raised particles and shavings that appear when metal blanks are machined are referred to as burrs, and the process by which they are removed is known as deburring.
Without a doubt, the key to deburring of small metal parts is to not form a burr in the first place — which, not coincidentally, is one of the underpinnings of our metal cutting business. Conceptually, the most obvious solution is what one does when one deburrs by hand; however, that process is simply not practical for high-volume production.
The Basics of Mechanical Deburring
The main kinds of mass finishing machines used for deburring small parts are the barrel tumbler and the vibratory tumbler. A barrel tumbler, which removes large exposed burrs but is not ideal for parts with recesses, rotates a load so that parts slide down the barrel like rocks down a hill. In the process, the parts are abraded and deburred as they bump and scrape against the media and each other. A vibratory tumbler creates a scrubbing action of surrounding media against parts and is generally used for very smooth surfaces; compared with a barrel tumbler, a vibratory tumbler is very effective for recessed areas and twice the speed.
Both types of tumblers use preformed media such as stone, ceramic, or plastic. Water is added to both carry away dirt and carry the media. As needed, chemicals may be used to enhance the action or clean the parts. An abrasive is often added to enhance the cutting and deburring ability of the tumbling media. Interestingly, the abrasive itself mostly does not act on the parts; rather, it helps to keep the tumbling media rough enough to do the job.
Here at ByTune, we use the action of mechanical devices such as our centrifugal barrel finishing and tumbling systems to re-create, as best we can, what hand deburring tools do. The challenge is getting access and having an inertial action — that is, getting into a very small, confined space and exerting sufficient action to deburr a part. And that’s a challenge we meet by utilizing our unique, proprietary inertial action. To find out if we can reach and remove the burrs in your part’s difficult-to-reach spots, give us a call.