Laser cutting is one of the many technological innovations that have advanced traditional metal processing techniques. This process involves using a high-powered laser beam to cut through or modify the shape of metallic and nonmetallic surfaces. It gained immense popularity in the industry because of its ability to perform precise cuts by heating, melting, and vaporizing materials.
When forming parts through laser machining, the metal melts at the point of contact with the laser beam. During this process, some of the melted material may stick to the sides or edges of the machined component, forming burrs.
Burrs are slight imperfections on the surface of the metal. They can have significant negative impacts on the longevity, quality, and performance of machined components or equipment. They can lead to cracks, corrosion vulnerability, localized stress, and overall safety hazards. To prevent these, machined parts undergo deburring.
Deburring for Laser Machined Parts
Laser parts deburring removes ridges, protrusions, and other flaws on the surface of machined metal products. This process makes the components safer, smoother, more operational, and more visually appealing for various applications.
Machine burrs can be characterized into three main types:
- Rollover burrs: These flaws are the most common burrs and are characterized by tiny bits of curly metal protruding from the component.
- Poisson burrs: These burrs form when an excessive amount of metal residue gathers at the end of the material and extends sideways.
- Breakout burrs: These imperfections show an upswelling form on the metal part, making it look like it is breaking away from the piece.
The different types of burrs make it impossible for manufacturers to create uniform-quality equipment. They also compromise the safety of machine operators and workers, especially when the burrs are sharp but not easily visible. Accidents and injuries caused by burrs often delay the production process and increase operational expenditures.
Deburring Laser Machined Parts – Alternatives
Burrs can be eliminated through various techniques that can be done manually or by machines.
- Manual Deburring: This process scrapes off burrs using hand tools with curved or hook-shaped edges. Although manual deburring is more time-consuming, it is the most economical method since it does not require machines.
- Punch Deburring: This method needs rough blanking, fine blanking, and sizing dies to deburr holes and the corners of a component through a punch machine. Punch deburring is more efficient and productive than manual deburring but is not ideal for parts with complex shapes.
- Electrochemical Deburring: This technique utilizes a salt or glycol solution to conduct energy through burrs. The electrochemical energy with a negatively charged electrode (cathode) blasts away the burrs for a softer finish while leaving the adjacent metal unharmed. This high-precision deburring method is best used to reach difficult areas and components with challenging structures.
- Tumbling: Mechanical tumbling is used to mass-deburr several parts of a machine or workpiece. This process involves placing the components in a rotating barrel with water, a compounding agent, and abrasive media.
- Thermal Deburring: Combustive gasses are typically used to conduct thermal deburring to create thermal energy and scald existing burrs on a metal piece. This method can eradicate burrs on hard-to-reach spots and address multiple burrs at the same time.
- Grinding and Rolling: Similar to manual deburring, mechanical grinding and rolling uses hand tools like rotating wheels to manually remove burrs off a component. This technique is faster than manual deburring and more cost-efficient since several parts can be deburred simultaneously.
- Hole Deburring: A cutting tool, with a spring loaded and mounted on a spindle, is used for deburring a hole’s inner parts. Hole deburring is specifically designed to cut burrs inside holes but is faster and more cost-effective than other methods.
- Brush Deburring: In this process, burrs are “cleaned” using a special brush. Deburring brushes are made of abrasive materials with a specific grit number.
Finishing Machines From Apex Machine Group
Apex Machine Group has 50 years of combined experience in the industry, so we understand how crucial machine configurations for pre-processing could be. Our machines are engineered for various functions, including burr or slag removal, precision grinding, oxide removal, rounding edges, and polishing metal products. They can also support up to four working heads to achieve optimal results.
Contact us to avail our first-rate metalworks services!