Deburring is an industrial process that removes imperfections such as undesirable protrusions, jagged edges, slits and burrs from the surface of various metal objects. Deburring can be divided into mechanical and chemical processes and it can be carried out on a wide variety of materials such as: steel, aluminum, zinc, brass, cast iron, titanium, nickel alloys, etc. Welders and contractors in the metal cutting industries commonly use deburring methods to prepare materials for use in domestic projects along with commercial jobs.
The main reasons deburring of rough materials is done are for safety and appearance. Obviously any type of metal or other material with rough edges on it can be quite dangerous to handle. In addition, brass railings and cast iron gates looks a lot better if they have smooth finishes on them.
Light deburring, heavy burr removal and radiusing are the three types of deburring operations. Light deburring is the process of removing minute brittle burrs, resulting from grinding operations. Heavy burring removes large and thick burrs that can be caused by: drilling, turning, sawing, milling and similar operations. Radiusing is the process of rounding sharp corners and edges.
Deburring operations are carried out through various methods such as: parts blasting, thermal deburring, vibratory deburring and hand deburring. Parts deburring smoothens sore points in metals by using glass beads or sandblasting metal parts. Thermal deburring uses heat to vaporize burrs and metal impurities. Vibratory deburring is ideal for mass deburring and finishing, and hand deburring works well for delicate objects. Today power brushes present an economical means to deburr assembly line manufactured goods.
Ceramic materials are often used to deburr steel. However, plastic materials are usually used to deburr softer materials. When you are working with a finished material you may need to use a belt sander or a hand file to make sure that you don’t remove the finish along with the burrs.
If regular deburring methods prove to be unsuccessful you may need to use abrasive flow machining for any internal passages and edges that require smoothing. Electrolytic machining could also be used if a fast and highly accurate method is needed for high-volume applications.