Imagine the time you’d save if you could deburr and polish your machined parts in one process. Burrs and raised edges need to be removed from metal parts and a high-quality finish provided to allow the correct fit, assembly and operation of the final product. This is usually done in separate steps.
These processes are critical to components used in the aerospace, medical, automotive and electronics industries. There are few systems devised for accomplishing this in one step, and only Xebec’s deburring solutions provide the most flexible, adaptable and economic solution.
There are many methods of deburring and polishing of metals, each with benefits and drawbacks. Some of the commonly used methods used for deburring:
Manual deburring – Hand-held and mechanized tools such as grinders, brushes, and files are a lower cost option. However, there are many quality issues with manual deburring and it’s not ideal for parts with complex geometries. This method cannot be used on parts that require tight dimensional tolerances or precise edge breaks and polishing requires a second step.
Mechanical deburring machines – This method employs machines to perform a general deburring on the part by abrasive application. This includes wet and dry barrel tumbling, and vibratory deburring. Barrel tumblers work by filling a chamber with abrasive media and other compounds (wet or dry) that then deburr and polish the parts during the tumbling process. Vibratory machines operate in much the same way through a vibration process and come in various configurations such as tubs, circular bowls or trough machines.
Some barrel tumblers and vibratory machines can be an economical option as far as low operator costs and can deburr and polish in one step. However, a disadvantage of the barrel tumbling system is that the parts strike one another, instead of gently rubbing together, and thereby increase the risk of surface gouges.
A wet deburring machine is typically 30 percent more expensive to run than a dry machine and involves the use of expensive chemicals to prevent corrosion. These chemicals, and the coolants used to run the machine, are hazardous waste and disposal of them is an expensive concern.
The disadvantage of the dry media tumbling process is that it’s much slower. Dry abrasives are lighter, so it generally takes two times longer to get the same deburring results as wet abrasives and is therefore not suited for high-volume production. Using compounds and abrasives may also cause some of them to remain imbedded in the parts and many of these machines are restrictive in the type of parts you can deburr due to the limiting size of the barrels or containers that hold the abrasives.
Electrochemical deburring – This is a wet process, also known as electro-polishing, that utilizes the principles of electrolysis and is commonly used on small metal parts with burrs that are inaccessible by most deburring methods. This method is commonly described as the reverse of electro-plating and primarily used on stainless steel.
This method can deburr delicate parts with complex geometries and there is no tool wear. However, electro-polishing uses environmentally harmful chemical compounds which involves labor intensive and costly disposal of the wastewater. These machines are only cost effective for small parts and rough surface defects cannot be removed.
Automated Xebec Ceramic Fiber Brushes – Xebec’s deburring solutions are especially suited for automated processes and offer a variety of tool and process options which result in one-step, high-quality deburring and polishing. Xebec Deburring Technologies meets today’s demand to deburr and polish in one process while maintaining tight dimensional tolerances. Many high technology industries require precise edge breaks and, especially in the medical industry, cannot have surface variations that may allow foreign matter to imbed on the part’s surface. Xebec’s tools meet those stringent quality demands.
Xebec’s ceramic brushes work like a cutting tool and can deburr and polish different types of metals in one process in short cycle times. They can provide different surface finishes by varying cutting speeds and, because of their inherent hardness, are extremely durable when deburring hard metals. Unlike most other deburring methods, they polish and finish at the same time as they deburr. Other brushes can’t achieve the quality and productivity levels of Xebec’s cutting tools, and will result in increased labor, scrap and rework over time.
Xebec’s tools can be used in a variety of methods and applications depending upon your deburring requirements and offer flexibility and adaptability to your manufacturing or machine shop environment:
- Hand-held – Xebec provides a number of brushes, pens and stones for detail work.
- CNC Machine – Add a Xebec brush to the end of your CNC machining process and you can create the part, deburr and polish in one step and have your part ready for QA and shipment.
- Automation – Integrate a Xebec brush with robots for an automated process that speeds up production time while maintaining a superior quality deburring and polishing process.
If you’re an organization that manufactures parts with tight dimensional tolerances or high precision edge breaks and are looking to automate the deburring and finishing process, check
out our video on the automated burr removal and surface finishing of an aluminum alloy air rifle guard using a Yaskawa GP8 industrial robotic arm paired with Xebec ceramic fiber brushes.
This method resulted in incredible cost savings with consistent and improved quality. The video was produced by Xebec Deburring Technologies in collaboration with our partners: Ellison Technologies, Yaskawa and Invictus Manufacturing.
To evaluate whether a Xebec ceramic fiber brush is the right tool for you, reach out to discuss your process with one of our experienced, knowledgeable team members.