Burring is a common outcome of the metal stamping process. Examples of burring include small ridges or protrusions on the metal part and are usually minor imperfections.
In many cases, a normal stamping burr on a metal part is acceptable. However, other times, deburring can be a crucial step in the metal stamping process. Deburring makes stamped parts safer to handle by removing sharp metal edges, which can improve part performance and installability in some situations.
Simultaneously, common deburring methods such as barrel tumbling and vibratory bowl finishing enhance surface finish and polish. Combined, all of these processes yield a premium product compared to non-deburred stampings.
What Is the Deburring Process for Custom Metal Stamped Parts?
As the name suggests, the main purpose of deburring is to remove metal burrs from stamped components. Sharp and/or rough edges are also smoothed out as the parts are agitated in large bowls or tumbled in barrels. The bowls or barrel containers are generally filled with an abrasive media (often ceramic) to facilitate the deburring process, essentially “sanding” the parts as they are agitated to yield smooth, consistent finishes.
Two of the Most Common Deburring Methods for Stamped Metal Parts:
Tumbling or Barrel Finishing
Tumbling stamped metal parts in large barrels is one of the simplest and most common types of deburring methods. The barrels are filled with water and/or specific types of abrasive media to promote a clean, consistent deburring process based on the unique part designs, materials, and finish requirements.
The tumbler barrel rotates on its axis, causing the parts and abrasives to roll and rub against each other while cascading along the side of the barrel. The friction generated creates abrasion which removes burrs, sharp edges, and other surface imperfections from the stamped products.
Vibratory Bowl Finishing
Vibratory bowl finishing is another common batch finishing process for metal stamped parts. This method uses a large vibrating bowl filled with abrasive media, such as ceramic or plastic, along with other special compounds or lubricants.
The vibratory bowl machine runs on an eccentrically mounted motor that causes the bowl to vibrate, forcing the stampings inside to move and rub against each other in a generally circular motion. The resulting friction removes burrs, sharp edges, and other imperfections while polishing all exposed surfaces of the stamped parts.
What Advantages Are Accomplished with Deburring?
The main benefits of carefully deburred metal stampings are twofold:
Improved Part Performance and Ergonomics
Smoothly deburred parts simply perform better in a variety of scenarios. Smooth edges facilitate an easier installation process of the part – removing burrs and rough edges which could otherwise cause hang-ups as the part is installed. Furthermore, deburring reduces the risk of damaging adjacent parts during installation.
In many cases, improved performance also means better ergonomics. Deburred stampings are smoother, safer, and more comfortable to handle than stamped parts that come right out of the press. From part handlers who deal with the components in subsequent production stages to end users of the finished product, deburring is essential for a better user experience.
Premium Aesthetic Finishes
Deburring also enhances the aesthetics of stamped metal parts, removing the rough edges. We can use the deburring process to reduce or eliminate discoloration that results from welding and brazing operations.
The deburring process removes most other sources of discoloration – rust and oxidation, scale from heat treatment, as well as most foreign chemicals and contaminants are stripped clean. In this way, deburring can be used as a specialized method for stamped metal part cleaning and polishing.
Rotation’s Deburring and Tumbling Capabilities:
At Rotation, our in-house deburring process revolves around ALMCO’s SBB Series Vibratory Round Bowl deburring machine. Our streamlined system includes integrated sediment and immersion tanks. Part loading is automated with a custom Titan load conveyor system, minimizing labor requirements while maximizing throughput.
- ALMCO Vibratory Round Bowl SBB Series
- 24 cu ft capacity for batch finishing
- Automated part loading with Titan conveyor system
- Automated unload with option to apply a rust-preventative coating
Rotation Engineering and Manufacturing utilizes our vibratory finishing equipment to offer your project leaner, more efficient and streamlined metal stamping services.