The vibratory or tumbling method is cost-effective, consumes low energy and allows simultaneous and reproducible finishing of a large quantity of machined parts or tools.

In this batch-type operation, the workpieces are placed with random or preformed media into a vibratory tub or tumbler. In the case of the vibratory finisher, a predetermined mixture of water and chemistry (often referred to as “soap”) is added during operation. The type of media selected will determine the type of finish–from very abrasive to “burnishing”, or polishing—that is achieved. The action of the vibratory unit imparted to the media and parts will help achieve the desired degree of deburring and surface finishing required. The main function of the water/chemistry mixture is to keep the parts clean during processing. In general, the vibratory unit is run in a “flow through” mode. This means that the solution is added to the mass (from the top) and whatever fluid reaches the bottom of the vibratory unit exits through one or more drains. The solution aids in carrying metal fines, machining oils and media “breakdown” solids out of the unit as it is replaced with “fresh” mixture. This aids in keeping the parts and media free of redeposit of soils. The selection of the proper chemistry is based on the metal being processed and the type of finish desired.

Open tumbling units are often used for processing parts in a “part-on-part” mode. For example, this method can be used for removal of machining oils and followed by a “burnish” from the part-on-part action. This generally requires specific chemical compounds. Addition of a loose abrasive to the mass of parts can help promote burr removal and surface finish. An open and/or closed tumbler can also be used to process parts using a random or preformed media as used in the vibratory unit. Because these methods do not operate in “flow through” mode, generally the concentration of the chemistry must be run at higher levels, particularly with very long time cycles. The “action” in an open or closed tumbler is much less aggressive than a vibratory finishing unit and generally would require longer cycle times to achieve similar results.

Vibratory Tumbler

The Role of Proper Chemistry in Vibratory Finishing

The selection of a product (“soap”) for a particular vibratory finishing application is determined on a number of process parameters, such as the type(s) of metal being processed, the type of preformed media (plastic, ceramic, porcelain, stainless steel) being used to achieve a particular finish and/or deburring of machined edges. In certain cases, a corrosion inhibitor might be necessary to protect carbon steel (or other ferrous metals) that might corrode during processing. In a general vibratory application, the product should be a “minimal” foamer. Foam buildup can occur, which will tend to capture liquid (along with soils, chips, etc.) that would normally exit the open drains. The foam will actually “dampen” the vibratory action and can even stop the normal cascading movement of the media/part mass during processing. High foam will lessen the efficiency of the process. Be sure that the recommended use dilution is being used to minimize excessive foaming. Corrosion-inhibiting properties increase polishing/burnishing effectiveness.

Flow Rate and Volume

The flow rate of process fluid and the quantity of fluid in the working chamber also effect productivity. Too much solution in the working chamber will slow the process, increasing cycle times. Too little solution will leave parts, media and equipment dirty.

Consider the ratio between the mass of parts being processed and abrasive media and process fluid. If too many parts are processed at once, media may become ineffective.

Vibratory Soaps Ready to Ship and Made in the USA

Our soaps are manufactured and shipped directly to you from our facility in the Northeast under strict quality assurance and comprehensive record keeping. We maintain product batch samples for two years. Request a Certificate of Compliance for any shipment, as required. We can produce large or small batch sizes of both liquid and powder products. Although most products are “made to order”, our consistent raw material inventory allows us to quickly blend and ship your order on demand.