Mass finishing is a process that can be used for a variety of reasons such as; burr removal, applying radius’s or to give a certain surface finish. The process of mass-finishing takes place in a variety of machines using various types of medias and depending on the part requirements may run for minutes to hours.
The various medias used can range from plastic, ceramic, as well as wood, corncob, and walnut shell products. The medias will most often contain some type and amount of abrasive agents such as; silicone carbide, aluminum oxide,or various other less known abrasives. The amount and kind of abrasive along with the type of polymers used to bind it, such as plastic or ceramic will greatly effect the cutting or material removal that is done in the tumbling process.
The two effective processes that RPA use are high energy and vibratory. High energy is a process in which parts along with media, water, and a surfactant are placed in a barrel enclosed with a lid, this barrel is then rotated on a carousal that holds four barrels. Once the barrels are loaded and the machine is started the carousal will spin one direction as the barrels spin in the opposite direction creating great centrifugal force thus placing the desired finish on the part. Vibratory tumble will use a vibrating action of the media against the parts to create the desired finish. Both of these process are referred to as mass finishing because so many parts can be done at one time.
Pictured above is one of the four MFI high energy tumblers that RPA uses that features an 80 liter capacity. We also have two 120 liter capacity machines and a 12 liter machine. We use Mass Finishing Inc. machines as we find them to be very durable, well regarded in the industry and very dependable.
In addition to the 2 five cubic foot Ultramatic tubs, the Sweco four cubic foot bowl and the ten cubic foot Torx bowl we also have a three cubic foot ultramatic bowl, three cubic foot sweco bowl, Almco two cubic foot tub, and a one cubic foot vibe bowl.
Which machine gets used depends on the number and size of the parts. Often times we will do media changes in machines as parts warrant. Contact us today to learn more!