REDwire Factors to consider when selecting finishing media and compounds

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Finishing media and compounds help to provide the final touch that many products require.

Finishing media and compounds are a key component in the finishing process, providing the final touch that many products and customers require. Different materials and shapes can be used, and they can be either wet or dry, to ensure a clean, polished and smooth part surface.

The choice of compound will depend on the material to be treated, the desired surface finish and the individual application and process requirements. As a leader in vibratory finishing, Vibra Finish can help customers determine the most appropriate solution.

Vibratory finishing

A vibratory machine is typically used for thorough cleaning and deburring of delicate parts, or parts with hard-to-reach recesses or large surfaces. Vibratory compounds, along with selected finishing media, are added to the vibratory machine with the parts for mass finishing. The machines cause a sliding or tumbling action between the parts and the media, which helps to clean, polish and smooth part surfaces. The rubbing action causes abrasive results on the parts, effectively cleaning them, while the vibratory compounds used are designed to keep the debris from depositing back on the parts. 

Finishing options

When selecting the type of media and compounds, there are several options to consider.

  • Wet or dry?: Wet compounds are used in the form of paste or with water, while dry compounds are used in the form of powder. Liquid compounds are most widely used, as they can be metered at the correct dilution rate using an automatic compound dispensing system; however, powder compounds are recommended for special applications.
  • What type of material?: Plastic deburring media are most effective for metal removal, polishing, cutting of parts from runners and pre-painted finishing. They are used for soft metals, like aluminum and brass parts, and can help prevent broken burrs from lodging in the part’s holes. They can be safely used on parts with threads, as well as parts that must be anodized. They are also useful when the desired outcome is a smooth but dull finish. Plastic media are less aggressive than other media, like ceramic media, for example. Steel media and glass beads are also options.
  • What shape?: The various shape options include cones, cylinders, pins, triangles, pyramids, wedges and more. The option selected depends on the product. For example, cylindrical plastic deburring media might be recommended for cleaning long tube parts. Cones are a good option for parts containing holes, while triangles are good on flat surfaces and corners. A combination of shapes can be used for complex requirements.

Additional details

For help determining which compound and media is most appropriate for the application, contact Vibra Finish

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Vibra Finish Limited

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