Tumbling media comes in all different types of materials, shapes, and sizes, so it can be hard to know where to begin. Here is a brief guide to all the different types of tumbling media and how they are used.
Steel media works for heavy deburring and can shine and polish parts. Steel is a great choice of media for plastic, ceramic, and metal parts.
Plastics work for general and precise deburring. They can also polish and burnish materials. They work on soft metals like brass and aluminum or threaded parts. Manufacturers add sand or silica to plastic media to aid in finishing and deburring.
Ceramic media works for deburring. Ceramic media is great on hard and heavy metals. Ceramic media can even remove rust from some metals! It can also work for polishing metal or plastic parts. Ceramic media is durable and strong, but it can chip and cause errors in the finish of your product.
Organic media such as walnut shells and corn cob work well for finishing. Walnut shells debur, and corn cob meal finishes and polishes parts. Organic media is better for the environment because it is reusable and biodegradable.
Wet compounds mix with other tumbling media to aid in cleaning, corroding, and deburring materials.
Larger media is faster at deburring rough objects and is a great choice for all your deburring needs. Smaller media takes longer but results in a better, shinier finish, so it can be great for adding the finishing polish to your product.
The shape of the media is usually determined by the parts being finished. Circular or cylindrical-shaped media is great for general use and is usually the safest bet for all your tumbling needs. Triangular or star-shaped media works for components with complex geometries. Star, cone, and triangular-shaped media are more susceptible to chipping, which can damage the finish of a material.
Now that you know about the different types of tumbling media and how they are used, you can make an educated guess as to which tumbling media will be best for your product. There’s no better time than the present to get tumbling! Purchase a high-quality large vibratory tumbler bowl from AccuBrass for all your tumbling needs.
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