Parts manufactured in machine shops invariably have imperfections. Machines that cut, stamp, bore, drill, or grind metal can leave rough edges and little extra bits of metal behind, clinging to the part. Most parts have precise specifications, and these leftover rough bits, or “burrs,” render the part useless or even dangerous, depending on the part’s ultimate role in a larger machine. For some parts, imperfections measuring in fractions of millimeters can render parts unusable. Deburring is the process of removing excess shards, splinters, and rough edges from metal parts. What began as a laborious, time-consuming manual process can now be done with machines that perfect large batches of parts all at once. This brief guide to the machine deburring process will help you understand how those machines work.
Types of Deburring Machines
There are two primary types of deburring machines: vibratory and tumblers. Vibratory deburring machines have a large bin, bowl, or trough atop springs attached to a base. The machine creates a shaking motion that causes the bin to vibrate, which in turn circulates the parts within it in a motion reminiscent of batter in a mixing bowl—the parts circulate toward the center of the bin, down to the bottom, and back up the sides, then repeat the process.
The parts don’t go in the bin alone; additives , usually chunks of plastic or ceramic shaped like triangles or beads and often water or a specially formulated liquid, go in with the parts to be deburred. This media creates friction that files off the excess metal from the parts, creating a smooth, uniform finish.
Tumbling deburring machines are cylindrical barrels that rotate, causing the parts and media within them to slide down the sides of the barrel repeatedly, creating the necessary friction to remove burrs.
When a batch of parts has cycled through the deburring machine for long enough, the parts and media pour out a chute or tube, through a filter, screen, or sieve that separates media from the finished parts. The operator can then ready the machine for the next batch.
Benefits of Deburring
Deburring reduces injuries from invisible imperfections on unfinished parts, saves money by reducing the number of rejected parts, and provides consistency in batches of manufactured parts. Deburred parts take coatings and paint better than rough, unfinished parts. Removing rough edges, shards and splinters, or little beads of metal left over from heat processes saves parts that the shop's customer might otherwise reject for failing to meet specifications.
Deburring machines come in a variety of sizes from tabletop and floor models to large industrial deburring tumblers. Contact AccuBrass for advice on what type of deburring machine will meet your shop’s needs.
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