Parts are rarely complete after primary fabrication. More often than not, a part will require one or more finishing processes before it can be considered properly completed.
Vibratory finishing is one such metal finishing process. It can be used to deburr, descale, burnish, and clean metal parts after fabrication. DeLong Equipment Company, metal finishing specialists for more than 45 years, carries a full line of vibratory finishing equipment including bowl, tub, and continuous models.
The vibratory finishing process uses specially shaped abrasive media to achieve the desired finishing effect. First, the abrasive media are placed into a container along with the parts to be finished; next, an off-center rotating weight spins within the container, causing the tub to shake and vibrate.
The cyclical vibration of the tub lifts and drops the container’s contents repeatedly in rapid succession. This causes the abrasive media to interact with the metal parts in a way that is very similar to standard filing — where the media comes into contact with the part, the surface is eroded and smoothed until achieving the desired finish.
Vibratory finishing is a batch operation, suited to processing large sets of relatively small workpieces. Because the vibratory action moves the entire load as a single unit, it is ideal for finishing parts that are more fragile — the forces within the abrasive media and parts are equal, eliminating the risk of tearing and other part distortion. Many vibratory finishers can be opened while in use, enabling trained workers to visually inspect parts during the ongoing finishing process.
The vibratory finishing process can create a range of different finishes on parts. The finish can be controlled by varying the frequency and amplitude of the vibratory finishing equipment. Typical frequencies range from 900 to 3,600 cycles per minute (CPM); amplitude, the difference between the highest and lowest point of the cycle, can vary from 0 to 4.76 millimeters.
DeLong Equipment stocks an exhaustive range of vibratory finishing equipment, including tub type finishers, bowl type finishers, and continuous (also known as thru-feed), finishing systems.
Bowl finishers, as their name implies, are shaped like bowls. Often featuring a rising channel, bowl type vibratory finishers are ideal for smoothing, deburring, polishing, and cleaning high volumes of both small and medium sized parts.
Larger than bowl finishers, tub type vibratory finishers can accommodate larger parts and higher volumes than bowl finishers. Generally rectangular in shape, many tub finishers can be divided into compartments, allowing for the simultaneous finishing of multiple different parts, or various stages in the finishing process of a single part.
Continuous vibratory finishing systems are the largest vibratory cleaners available. They are designed to efficiently process extremely high volumes of parts in a continual, assembly line-type process. They can be easily integrated into existing material handling systems and are outfitted with oscillating separators.
DeLong Equipment also offers a number of specialized vibratory finishers. For example, we stock six different spindle finishing machine models — these finishers are designed to uniformly process parts with complex geometries, such as gears. We also offer a bowl type vibrator designed explicitly to dry parts output by a bowl vibrator using a wet finishing process.
Media used in vibratory finishing equipment can vary; selection of such media depends on the type of finish that your project requires. Some types of finishing media can include:
Ceramic Tumbling Media — Used for general purpose polishing and deburring, ceramic tumbling media is best suited for heavy cutting and hard metal parts. Use ceramic abrasive media for more aggressive polishing, deburring, and cleaning, or for the removal of oil and grease. Precision ceramic media can perform the same functions but for smaller products.
Steel Shot — Shot made from stainless or carbon steel is an ideal media for polishing and burnishing metal parts. It produces a bright shine without removing any metal from the parts, plus its heavy weight can sometimes reduce finishing time.
Plastic — Though it can be used for several different applications, plastic abrasive media is best suited to polishing, burnishing, or otherwise brightening a part. Plastic abrasive media generally requires specialized soap, chemicals, or other cleaning compounds.
Contact us today to learn more about our vibratory finishing equipment.