For metal solid wire, rods, and tubes that require surface finishing, Metal Cutting offers expert barrel finishing with capabilities such as rounding of corners, deburring, grinding, descaling, deflashing, improving Ra surface finish, burnishing, polishing, and radiusing of edges. Enabling many parts to be processed at once, our equipment minimizes the amount of manual handling and provides a cost-effective and precise alternative to finishing by hand.
Experts in the Tumbling Process
Barrel finishing, also known as barrel tumbling, improves surfaces by rotating a mixture of parts, media, and compounds in a specially designed barrel, creating friction as the parts tumble against each other and other materials. This flexible process can utilize abrasives for more aggressive, heavy cutting or to remove tool marks and flash, smooth rough surfaces, or form radii; polishing media can be used for producing a shiny surface. The method is widely used to remove heavy burrs, round off edges, or create safe edges on stampings, and can even be used to remove the flashing from laser processes.
Metal Cutting is an expert in determining the proper barrel parameters to achieve the desired results — from slower RPM for large or delicate parts to higher velocity for burnishing — as well as calculating the correct capacity and utilizing the best techniques to meet high-volume production goals while protecting the parts being processed. We know how to choose the best media, which can act as cushioning to prevent parts from damaging each other and also serve as a carrier for abrasives and other compounds. We are well versed in both wet tumbling, which is used primarily for removal of excess material, and dry tumbling, which is used for a full range of surface treatments, including polishing.
Barrel Finishing Tailored to Your Application
For wet barrel finishing, we use water and other agents to form radii, remove burrs, improve surface appearance, polish, and clean metal parts; the liquid carries the abrasives and keeps the media clean while helping to cushion and protect the parts. For processing very delicate parts that would be damaged in a wet barrel, we use dry finishing — tumbling parts in a dry media and compound mixture to remove excess material or to form radii, deflash, polish, or grind. Our dry tumbling produces a smoother and higher finish with greater uniformity, and can eliminate the need for more expensive and time-consuming hand-finishing methods.
Our mastery of these and other barrel finishing techniques allows us to tailor the process to your product needs. Our continuous operations allow metal parts to be finished overnight as needed; our high-energy equipment allows for quick finishing, in as little as an hour. Whatever your timeframe, we always carefully balance your production goals and budget with the parameters of the project — determining how many parts can be processed safely and effectively in each batch, based on the size of the part, its fragility, shape, and weight, and the end results you need.