High Density Isotropic Superfinishing Media

The high density isotropic superfinishing media has higher specific gravity than common mass finishing ceramic media. It combined polishing and slight cutting in one process.


Durable, tough, and long-lasting tumbling media with no abrasive

Very little residue and wastewater treatment

Suitable for mirror polishing, isotropic superfinishing, and burnishing

Gear parts, turbine blade, orthopedic implant REM finishing

Isotropic Finishing Media

Isotropic finishing media uses either high-density brown color media or fine porcelain tumbling media.

The specific gravity of this media is 3.6 g/cm3 (225 lbs/ft3).

The high-density isotropic finishing media has slight cutting power.

It is made with superfine alumina powder and sintered at a 1600-degree Celsius high-temperature oven.

With the micro-crystalline fused alumina structure, it is sturdy and durable.

Therefore, it resists fracturing.

Isotropic finishing media plays a vital role in the Tribo finishing process.

high density isotropic finishing media polishing brass parts isotropic superfinishing machine

Because of its low attrition rate, isotropic finishing media leaves a minimal residue after finishing the cycle. Meanwhile, it dramatically reduces wastewater treatment.

The isotropic superfinishing process (also called the ISF process) is a chemically accelerated vibratory mass finishing process.

This process uses standard vibratory finishing equipment, high-density media as well as highly reactive chemicals to generate the isotropic fine finished surface.

During the ISF process, the high cutting chemicals react with the steel parts and form a soft conversion coating on the surface of the parts.

high density tumbling media

As the parts tumble in the vibratory machine, the conversion coating is removed from peaks by high-density ceramic media, exposing the new underlying metal.

The surface peak is lowered, and finally, it forms a uniform isotropic surface that has the same character in all directions.

Therefore, we get a mirror-like finishing surface on hardened metal surfaces.

Isotropic finishing media is used widely for critical components superfinishing, for example, transmission parts, gear, bearing, aerospace turbine blade, medical implant, crankshaft as well as racing parts.

It improves parts’ performance without changing the parts’ size and geometry.

Inovatec isotropic finishing media are available for all sizes and shapes.

The most popular shapes are cylinder and triangle shapes.

We also make customized size and shape to meet your industrial requirement.

gear parts before and after polishing

Inovatec has over 20 years’ experience in developing mass finishing tumbling media.

Our isotropic high-density media is of the highest quality standard.

If you use a centrifugal disc finishing machine, then the process is called the centrifugal isotropic finishing process.

Contact us today and get the quotation now!

Isotropic Finishing Media FAQ Guide

1. What is isotropic finishing media?

When we talk about mass surface finishing, there is an unlimited number of methods to choose from.

Talk of tumbling finishing, vibratory finishing, centrifugal finishing, hybrid mass finishing, and many more.

Importantly, the majority of these finishing machines have a fundamental need for the loading of media.

Isotropic finishing machines aren’t an exception.

They have a special type of media used in bringing the desired finishing results into reality.

The media will ensure that the isotropic surface geography of the part is finished in such a way that the surface stress is reduced.

Isotropic finishing media are typically high-density, non-abrasive media.

They help the isotropic finishing machine in chemically-producing a non-directional finish, which reduces surface stress.

Isotropic superfinishing machine banner


2. What is isotropic finishing media made up of?

In terms of structure, isotropic finishing media have fused micro-crystalline alumina structures that make them sturdy and durable in usage.

The media is usually made up of high density, non-abrasive ceramic materials. This helps in making the media incapable of abrading, chafing, or eroding surfaces of processed workpieces.

Some other isotropic finishing media are comprised of fine porcelain media.

Just as well, they contain superfine alumina powder that’s sintered at 1600 degrees Celsius.

Regardless of either porcelain or ceramic the isotropic finishing media is, the media’s gravity hovers around 3.6 g/cm3 (225 lbs/ft3).

high density isotropic surface finishing machine


3. How does isotropic finishing media work?

Isotropic finishing media are used in the Isotropic Superfinishing process (or ISF process), which refers to a chemically accelerated vibratory mass finishing process.

The process requires special vibratory finishing machines, highly reactive chemicals, and then the high-density isotropic finishing media.

The combination of the above helps to generate the desired isotropic fine finished surface.

During the isotropic superfinishing process, the chemicals strongly react with workpieces by coating their surfaces.

isotropic surface finishing diagram explanation


The unique and significant feature of the high-density isotropic finishing media is in its surface leveling/smoothing mechanism utilized to achieve the surface finish.

When the isotropic finishing media thus rubs on the workpieces, it effectively removes the coating, including a micro-layer of the underlying metal.

This lowers the surface peak enhancing the formation of uniform surface finishing that’s the same in all directions.

In all its workings, however, isotropic finishing media do not dimensionally or structurally affect the integrity of the parts.


4. How does isotropic finishing media fare with other types of mass finishing media?

Traditional mass finishing requires multiple media changes to achieve the same results.

Isotropic finishing media however achieves with one media, at time cycles that double or triple that of other media types.

The high-density nature of isotropic finishing media helps to reduce media consumption as well as reduce the amount of water and chemical consumed in the process.

This makes isotropic finishing media far more favorable than other media types.

isotropic finishing media

5. Are there particular workpieces that isotropic finishing media are best for?

Isotropic finishing media is not right for everything.

Many variables have to be considered, like wastewater, the material being processed, and equipment considerations among other things.

The best way to looking into the process is to start testing and comparing.


6. What are the available shapes of isotropic finishing media?

Isotropic finishing media are available in almost all sizes and shapes.

The most popular shapes, however, are cylinder and triangle shapes.

In all, isotropic finishing media also make customized size and shape to meet individual industrial requirements.

high density tumbling media

7. Which finishing machine is an isotropic finishing media good for?

The industry standard is that isotropic finishing media should be used in specially-designed vibratory finishing machines.

This is in light of the fact that isotropic superfinishing is a strenuous process, and only vibratory finishing machines are built to withstand that tenacity.

surface roughness of metal parts

Even the types of vibratory finishing machines that use isotropic finishing media are different from mainstream vibratory finishing machines.

These special vibratory finishing systems come in varying sizes, from 15L to 1000L working capacity.

This allows workpieces and parts that are less than 6 millimeters in diameter to more than 2 meters in diameter, and quantities from one to hundreds at a time can be mass finished.

8. Are there benefits in using isotropic finishing media over other media types?

Fundamentally, wherever metals come into contact with each other, contact stresses and friction occur.

And because surface finishes often dictate the performance, integrity, durability, and service life of any workpiece, surface smoothness directly impacts the ability of the workpiece to resist friction and wear.

These two, wear and tear, are perhaps the two main factors that determine a workpiece’s overall life cycle.

Another great benefit of isotropic finishing media over other media types is with respect to its ability to reduce contact stresses. That is, the stresses that surfaces are subjected to when they frequently come in contact.

rem process discription

Another resulting benefit in the use of isotropic finishing media lies in its reduction of contact or friction temperature.

Reduced operating temperatures are an indication of increased performance, as there is less heat to dissipate.

All of these help to complement efficiency and performance.


9. How long do isotropic finishing media usually last?

This is dependent on the frequency of its usage in finishing workpieces.


10. What are the potential downsides, if any, to the usage of isotropic finishing media?



11. What are the manufacturing industries where isotropic finishing media is usually used?

Isotropic finishing media provides complete finishing services for all major and minor markets including medical, aerospace, dental, automotive, OEM, military, plastic, hydraulic, pharmaceutical, firearm among several other industries.

This is because most machined workpieces across all industries, including gears and gear sets, remain subject to fatigue, fracture, and wear.

Such workpieces can gain substantial improvements in their overall shell-life and performance when changes are made to their overall surface.

Improvements in overall smoothness, load-bearing ratio, surface profile skewness, and isotropicity can, in many instances, improve life and performance and cut operational costs dramatically.

So, isotropic finishing media are used in several, if not all, industries that have an inescapable need for reduced roughness average (Ra).

Some of its most popular industrial usage scenarios include:


Medical Device:

Titanium, stainless, and polymer workpieces produced for the medical industry illustrate the importance of the final surface finish.

Surfaces finished isotropically reduce infection potential and biocompatibility improvements.

These are both critically important for orthopedic, cardiovascular, and all other implants.

Improved surface finishes can reduce rejection and related complications, ultimately improving surgery success and patient outcomes.

In the same vein, medical customers like health institutions and outfits, expect consistent, high-quality finishes on complex medical device surfaces. Isotropic finishing media help to deliver the needed enhancement.



This industry relies so much on the usage of isotropic finishing media in enhancing parts’ surfaces.

The reason is because of the high level of friction and temperature that automotive components are subjected to, in day-to-day usage.

For example, the internal combustion engine is enhanced by isotropic finishing media in efforts to reduce friction, heat, wear, and vibration.

Other automotive components that Isotropic finishing media are usually used on include gears and fasteners, engine heads, and many more.



Motorsports products are known for their glistening, shiny components.

Such glistening uniformity is usually achieved with the employment of isotropic finishing media.

Engineers use isotropic finishing media to create a functional cross-hatch surface for the distribution and retaining of oil.

This increases lubricity, lowers overall friction, and results in greater longevity and lowered operating costs.



In these special industries, it is undisputed that metal smoothness and strength are a crucial requirement for workpieces, parts, and components.

Their manufacturers thus deploy isotropic finishing media in enhancing and making workpieces conform to industry standards.

Some components that repeatedly benefit from this process include turbine blades, jet engines, among others.


General Polishing:

Indeed, everyone is drawn to the shiny good looks of assets, like a brand new washing machine on the showroom floor or in the prime time television ad.

Countless hours of research and development, manufacturing, and polishing go into creating this experience for the consumer.

And isotropic finishing media are especially useful in achieving that finish.



From missiles and armaments, personnel delivery vehicles, electronics, aircraft, and ships, military manufacturers have been at the forefront of material development and manufacturing techniques.

Many of these manufacturers use isotropic finishing media on superalloys, and other high-tech synthetic materials have been produced to meet high-stress application needs.


Earthmoving Machinery


OEM Custom Metal Finishing:

Original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs as they are called, manufacture and supply individual parts, services, or assemblies used in their own or other companies’ finished products.

The speed, diversity, and logistics of today’s manufacturing environment have made OEMs a vital link in the supply chain, especially for unique, specialty, or custom work.

Many OEMs make frequent use of isotropic finishing media to perfect workpiece surfaces, in meeting all detailed specifications set forth by the end customer.







Many of the fillings, dentures, partials, and bridges we see around are cast in high-quality synthetic resins.

These molds are made from physical clay impressions or 3D X-ray models.

After the casting is complete, the rough surfaces need to be smoothed and polished to replicate the surfaces of the natural teeth.

The high energy cutting and polishing capabilities of the isotropic barrel machine allow for efficient, consistent, and repeatable finishing of all types of oral implements.


12. How much do isotropic finishing media cost?

The cost of isotropic finishing media varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

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