Increasing Vibratory Efficiency by Optimizing the Choice of Media Shape Relative to Part Geometry
Vibratory processing is frequently used for generic deburring or in chemically accelerated vibratory finishing processes to minimize or eliminate hand polishing. When properly used, not only can polishing costs be dramatically reduced, but part quality can also be improved, especially prior to decorative nickel/chromium final electroplating. When choosing vibratory media it is imperative to understand the size, shape, starting roughness condition and metallurgical structure of the part. These variables dictate the media composition, size and shape necessary to finish the part effectively in the shortest time possible, while achieving the desired surface finish at the lowest possible cost. This paper generically reviews media size and shape, specifically as that size and shape is related to the geometry of the part to be refined. Insights are shared relevant to media shapes pertinent to accomplishing various finishing tasks. Additionally, a review of the benefits and drawbacks to media shape will be addressed, especially as related to the shape of the parts being finished compared to the three major media characteristics of length, width and density. Finally, a quick review of media attrition as related to composition will be presented as an understanding of a media’s attrition rate is instrumental to understanding the volume of media sludge that will be generated, and therefore the consumable cost of the media choice relative to the cost of the deburring operation.
Introduction to Vibratory Finishing
Vibratory processing is frequently used to eliminate hand polishing. Vibratory finishing’s advantage is that it can reduce the expensive overhead of hand labor via the benefit of mass finishing hundreds if not thousands of parts simultaneously. In hand polishing operations, a polishing belt is the tool of choice for surface refinement (Fig. 1). In vibratory finishing however, preformed vibratory media replaces the polishing belt as the tool for improving part surface quality (Fig. 2).