Mass Finishing 101 - Tumbling Finishing - Art Versus Science


Mass finishing which includes tumbling finishing is achieved by using one of several types of equipment to enhance the surface aspects of a metal part. This equipment ranges from tumbling barrels to vibratory and centrifugal finishing equipment. The process also involves a finishing medium, water and a chemical compound. The media can consist of ceramic, plastic, steel and agra-media depending upon the specifications of the part or the application.

The most common and most efficient piece of equipment used is vibratory finishing. This is widely used in the de-burring process. When you machine a part, it generates burrs. These are removed from the part in an economical method without having to do it by hand.

To determine the correct equipment, finishing media, water and chemical mixture to use is more of an art than a science. This is where sample processing takes place. The sample part is tested by going through several different processes to get the part with to the desired specification. The process parameters are developed based on knowledge of the process and past experiences.

During the parts test, Precision Finishing has a team that reviews the application. One or several processes are put down to be evaluated then the part is run through the testing process. Once the specification is achieved the part is sent back to the client for review and approval.

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