Vibratory finishing — sometimes referred to as mass finishing or mechanical surface finishing — is a mechanical and chemical process in which metal parts are submerged in a specially shaped media and compound solution within a vibratory finishing machine. The media then grind the parts to achieve a desired finish.
Though vibratory finishing is similar to barrel finishing, it creates smoother surfaces and is able to scrape inside deep cavities or tubular parts. Vibratory finishing can be used for various purposes, including cleaning, polishing, radiusing, and deburring.
Vibratory finishing machines essentially act as files; a rotating weight shakes the machine (also called a tumbler), lifting the entire load up at a specified angle and then dropping it. As the load falls, the tub returns to an upward position, applying an upward, angular force that causes a shearing action, in which the media (typically chips or stones) and metal parts rub against each other. The larger the parts or media, the faster the cutting.
Since parts in these machines move a mere fraction of an inch per stroke, as opposed to sliding the full diameter of a barrel tumbler, vibratory finishing is a much safer method for delicate or large parts prone to damage.
Vibratory finishing is most frequently used for cleaning, typically for engine components, stampings, brass forgings, copper plumbing fittings, plastics, ceramics, rubber, and wood. It’s also employed for deburring — the removal of particles and shavings, called burrs, which appear during metalworking and can cause cuts and other injuries. Extremely versatile, vibratory machines can be used for radiusing, surface smoothing, brightening and burnishing, degreasing, corrosion prevention, and drying.
Vibratory finishing puts minimal wear on metal parts, increasing their durability and power output. An extremely cost-effective process, vibratory methods are not labor-intensive, and allow for significantly smoother part surfaces — which in turn allow components to run cooler, faster, and longer. This process produces precise, controllable, and uniform finishes.
In addition to industry-leading vibratory finishing services, DeLong also offers top vibratory compounds, including our Bio Clean™ compound, as well as a range of metal finishing equipment, including vibratory machines.
To learn more about our metal finishing services or discuss your specific needs with an expert, request information today and a team member will be in touch shortly.