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Selecting the Right Tumbling Media for Aluminum

Posted by Michael Wegener on

Selecting the Right Tumbling Media for Aluminum

Vibratory and deburring machines are greatly beneficial in streamlining the process of making aluminum parts. However, numerous kinds of media are available to polish and deburr various pieces. Choosing the right tumbling media is quite crucial to ensure your aluminum piece looks and feels as it should.

Choosing the Media

There are four things to consider when choosing your media: size, type, shape, and level of abrasiveness. These considerations will depend entirely on the piece you need to deburr.

Size

Choosing the size of tumbling media is quite simple. To tumble larger pieces, you will need larger media, and if you are tumbling smaller pieces, you will need smaller media. Consider the media’s type, shape, and abrasiveness as you choose, as this will affect the piece’s finish.

Type

You don’t want to make any mistakes when choosing the type of tumbling media for aluminum. The types you want to stick with are plastic, ceramic, porcelain, or walnut media for tumbling aluminum. Aluminum is a soft metal, so don't use anything too hard. Although these media are suitable options, most people will use plastic due to its multifunctionality.

Shape

The shape of your media will entirely depend on the construction of your piece. For example, if your piece has holes, choose media with cones or tetrahedrons, as this shape can easily fit into holes without getting stuck. Triangular media is fantastic for pieces with corners and flats. Choosing the right media can be a trial and error, but it’s easier to select the best media when you know your piece's needs.

Abrasiveness

Plastic media has a great level of abrasiveness for pieces requiring a very smooth finish. However, keep in mind that plastic media will produce a piece with no shine. Ceramic media is perfect if your aluminum piece has round edges or sharp burrs, as this media will cut them off efficiently. If you want your aluminum piece to have a brighter appearance or come out with a dry polish, choose porcelain or walnut media.

If you’re ready to tumble aluminum but need a vibratory bowl feeder to ensure your parts feed properly into the production line, AccuBrass has you covered! We sell a wide variety of bowls to choose from and have everything you need for your tumbling and deburring needs.


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