Manufacturers can address many surface issues through sending off their products to a finishing company. In terms of mass finishing, a corporation can turn to a finishing company that utilizes methods that effectively polish and finish their products effectively and quickly. This may involve high-energy finishing techniques. One such method finishing companies turn to is centrifugal barrel finishing.
The Centrifugal Barrel Machine
This piece of equipment consists of the following components: barrels (two or four) and two main drive turrets. The two main drive turrets rotate the barrels mounted horizontally between them. The barrels go in one direction; the barrels move in the other.
The barrels contain two things: the selected abrasive media and the workpieces to be polished or finished. These may fill the container anywhere from 50% to 90%. The rotating and counter-rotating at high speeds creates the right centrifugal force (sometimes 25 times greater than the force of gravity) that initially drives the barrel parts and media into a tight mass before causing them to slide or rub against each other. This quickly and efficiently produces the desired result.
Advantages of Centrifugal Barrel Finishing
Finishing companies rely on this form of high energy finishing for any of several reasons. Among the most popular are:
* Elimination of hand finishing:
* The resultant finish is more uniform and consistent
* This type of barrel finishing is faster than either conventional barrel and vibratory finishing
* Super finishing is possible with achievable fine finishes of less than a single micro inch
* Superior ball burnishing finishes to those of other finishing methods including vibratory. Centrifugal barrel equipment results in bright, dense and highly reflective surfaces when employing steel or porcelain media and high centrifugal forces
* Capable of working extremely well on smaller workpieces without resultant damage or deformation
This does not mean the process does not have certain disadvantages.
Disadvantages of Centrifugal Barrel Machinery
Issues do exist when it comes to the applications of centrifugal barrels. Those who utilize this method mention three major concerns:
1. The need for an operator to be highly involved since the machines require loading and unloading
2. The inability to check or inspect the work in progress
3. The potential for high levels of labor changeover
While not serious, such disadvantages may cause some companies to pause before installing or requesting this particular barrel finishing method.
Opting for Centrifugal Barrel Finishing
In spite of the disadvantages, many manufacturers request this form of barrel finishing. They know they can rely on its versatility, efficiency and speed. When it comes right down to it, centrifugal barrel finishing offers one of the fastest methods for batch processing currently available.