Finishing Parts Using the Right Media and Finishing Compounds

Finishing is the process of remove excess material from parts so that they have a perfect, smooth and polished finish. In the finishing process finishing compounds and finishing media play a vital role. Parts are loaded into finishing machines along with media and finishing compounds; when the machine is run, the parts and media rub against each other. In this process, the excess material is cut off or deburred and a smooth polish is given to the parts. Compounds act as a suspension medium which enhances the action of the media.

Plastic deburring media is an artificial media that is manufactured using hard plastic material. They are light weight and can be safely used in tumbling even intricate or fragile parts without any risk of damage or scratches. Plastic deburring media comes in pre-formed shapes to suit different parts. These shapes like cones, cylinders, pyramids, wedges, triangles and tristars can be used individually or in a mixture depending upon the complexity of parts design. This media is useful in providing a smooth and uniform polish; it does not provide a brilliant shine. Because it is not heavy, it is suitable for soft metals like brass and bronze and cannot be used with heavy loads as it may break. This media is long lasting and reduces the time taken for finishing considerably.

Corn cob media, a natural media is made by powdering corn cob rings. They are organic and can be incinerated. Hence do not pose any threat to the environment. They are dust free and clean; so, there is no health hazard because of their use. They are good cleaning agents as they not only absorb water but oils and grease effectively. Corn cob media do not break easily and can be used again and again. They are durable and prove to be cost effective.

Vibratory compounds are finishing compounds that are used in vibratory machines. These compounds are a combination of chemicals that give each compound a specific property like alkaline or acidic. Finishing compounds could be liquids, powders or creams. Vibratory compounds are used with a main intention of improving the action of media on parts. They emulsify and suspend the excess material that is removed so that they do not get deposited back on the parts. They also prevent glaze formation and thereby help in the media acting at optimum levels on the parts. Vibratory compounds can lend a bleaching action to parts while maintaining the metal finishes. By using specific compounds, it is also possible to coat the parts’ surfaces with layers that help to resist rust formation and corrosion. They can also be used to provide a safe environment for parts to be finished. There are vibratory compounds that can produce a foamy or greasy medium when the parts are being finished. So, the parts are worked on in a cushioned medium which prevents damages like breaking or scratching. These compounds also provide additional polish, abrasion, deburring and cutting actions. For example, an acidic compound provides an extra cutting power.

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