- Economic surface finishing machine with safety running
- Lifetime technical support and spare parts supply
- Durable PU lining with heavy-duty metal construction
- Corrosion-resistant painting and coating
Inovatec MachineryYour Best Metal Parts Tumbler Manufacturer in China
Inovatec metal parts tumblers include vibratory tumbler and rotary barrel tumbler. The primary function of the industrial parts tumblers is used to remove burrs, rust, scales as well as other unwanted material on parts surface.
- Vibratory metal tumbler and rotary metal tumbler
- Fast processing with reproducible results
- Customized engineering with affordable cost
- One-stop machine, tumbling media, and compound
Our surface finishing machine MOQ is one pcs.
We use a wooden fermentation box to make the packaging. The wooden box has the pallet beneath the machine, so it’s easy to remove with a forklift.
Our standard payment term is 30% in advance and 70% balance payment before shipment. If you are the first time doing business with us, we also accept LC at sight and Alibaba Trade Assurance.
It depends on the finishing machine types and quantity. The standard finishing machine requires 20-25 days. The automatic surface finishing machine will take 30-45 days. For urgent order to catch your shipment, we are flexible. Please contact us to discuss the situation.
The nearest port is Shanghai, Ningbo, and Yiwu. We can organize shipments to the port.
Metal Parts Tumbler
Metal parts tumbler is a large media tumbler.
The metal parts tumblers finish both small delicate parts as well as significant bulky pieces.
Whether you want to deburr, polishing, clean, degrease, edge rounding, pickling, de-rusting, or burnishing, metal polishing tumbler machine is cost-effective equipment to carry out these jobs.
Metal parts finishing tumblers are the economic machinery with a fraction cost of the manual finishing.
You can expect reproducible finishing result batch after batch.
There are full applications of parts deburring and polishing: for example, automotive parts, transmission parts, die casting parts, forging parts, punching parts, as well as machining parts.
Metal parts tumbler not only works for stainless steel materials but also brass polishing, aluminum polishing, titanium polishing, copper polishing, etc.
Precious metal like gold and silver also uses a metal tumbler machine to get high gloss finishing.
Both vibratory metal vibratory tumbler bowls and rotary metal parts tumblers have their advantages.
While vibratory metal vibratory tumbler offers fast rumbler deburring and polishing, rotary metal deburring tumbler gives smooth finishing.
Besides, rotary metal parts deburring tumbler is very quiet in operation. It can run overnight without anyone to watch on it.
To help our client, Inovatec machinery utilizes the highest quality polyurethane materials and casts with automatic casting machines into D90 PU lining.
You can use the equipment for many years if properly maintained.
Inovatec has over 20 years’ rich experience in providing innovative, quality solutions and superior customer service.
We select the right metal polishing tumbler machine according to your part’s surface requirement.
You are welcome to send your pieces to us for free parts trial.
We will offer the complete finishing solution once it has done.
Send us a message and we will get back to you within 24 hours!
Metal Parts Tumbler FAQ Guide
1. What is a Metal Parts Tumbler?
Now, to understand what a metal parts tumbler is, you’ll first have to understand what tumbling is.
Tumbling, also known as barrel finishing, is a process aimed at producing better surfaces by using correct abrasive media, lubricating and polishing agents placed inside tumblers.
A tumbler is a barrel that works by rotating at a predetermined speed.
The tumbler can either be six-sided or eight-sided.
These tumblers are filled up to a certain level with a mixture of metal parts, abrasive media, and compounds or lubricants.
The barrel rotates at a predetermined speed to improve surfaces by deburring, descaling, deflashing, burnishing, polishing, rounding corners and grinding metal parts in bulk.
The process of surface improvement is made possible by the rotating tumbler that creates friction by tumbling these metal parts mixed with abrasive media and water or compounds.
The best part about using a tumbler over any other surface improvement method is that the process requires minimal to no supervision until the task is complete.
Also, the process is less expensive, and many parts are processed all at once.
2. How does the tumbler work?
As seen earlier, the barrel works by rotating, therefore creating friction between the metal parts and the abrasive media.
And also between the compound (if used) and the metal parts.
There are two types of tumbling;
- 1. dry tumbling
- 2.wet tumbling.
Now, dry tumbling uses a barrel that has dimensions of 30’’ in diameter and either 36’’ or 42’’ which is considered standard.
Dry tumbling is quite costly because you’ll require specially engineered formulas which will not produce a lot of dust.
Dry tumbling is not frequent because of the noise it creates during the tumbling process of metal parts.
The best part about dry tumbling is that you will save a little bit of money because there is no waste compound for disposal.
As for wet tumbling, unlike dry tumbling, the tumbler is a watertight drum (as it uses liquids) which is resealable.
Then the drum is placed on a frame with rollers and can rotate on a predetermined speed of 40 – 60 revolutions per minute.
Why is speed so important?
Speed is essential because when the barrel spins too fast, centrifugal will make the media and metal parts cling to the walls of the drum.
This then becomes a waste of energy and cleaning material as no surface improvement will be achieved.
Again, when the barrel spins too slowly, the process consumes a lot of time and further, becomes inefficient.
As seen earlier, gravity is also a critical factor that aids during tumbling as it causes friction among the abrasive media, metal parts and the compound used.
This friction aids in improving surfaces by deburring, polishing or even hardening surfaces.
Wet tumblers are also six-sided or eight-sided, which improves the tumbling process.
Imagine if the barrel was circular. The mixture in the barrel would just slide at the bottom with no actual surface improvement taking place.
Many abrasive media nowadays can be used in wet tumbling.
Some of these media are mainly based on ceramic and synthetic materials.
Wet tumbling produces a cleaner finish than a dry tumble.
The compounds or even water clean metal parts and prevent spoil.
The best part about wet tumbling is that it does not produce a lot of noise as compared to dry tumbling.
Then, the abrasive media does not wear out quickly, which saves you the cost of acquiring new media after every complete cycle.
However, with wet tumbling, you’ll have to incur an additional cost of treating waste compounds that were used during tumbling for environmental preservation.
Ceramic media is used to improve the surfaces of hard metals such as titanium and steel.
The best part about using ceramic media is that it gives you control over how aggressive you want it to be.
This means that it shortens processing times.
Also, thanks to its robust nature, ceramic abrasives last longer than other surface improvement media.
Its hardy nature reduces additional acquisition costs.
The best part about ceramic media is that it always provides a clean and shiny surface finish.
The finish is sleeker compared to plastic which does not give a shiny surface.
Now, synthetic or plastic media is lighter than ceramic media by 40%, making it most economical during the tumbling process.
Plastic tumbling media has become common nowadays.
Plastic is popular as it has non-cracking and non-chipping features.
Also, plastic can be used to tumble harder metals after they’ve already been tumbled with ceramic media.
The process can be quite expensive, but the finished product will prove to be worth the cost.
3. How do you choose media for the tumbling process?
Media, to begin with, is media is any abrasive material that can be used by a compound or a lubricant to improve the surface of a metal.
There are different types of surface improvement media.
However, the two major ones are ceramic and plastic (synthetic).
Now, to select an appropriate media for surface improvement, you have to put into consideration what type of metal do you want to improve its surface, how you’d want to improve its surface, e.g. polishing, deburring etc. and the degree of sleekness that you need.
For softer metals like aluminium and brass, plastic media is the best option.
Plastic would be the most viable option here because it does not deliver high impact (inflictive) on the softer metals.
By producing a favourable degree of impact, softer metals’ lifespan is increased.
Also, synthetic media is suitable for processes that do not require a lot of time because it is way lighter than ceramic media.
Its lightness makes it the best candidate for operations that do not require a lot of work.
Now, for harder metals, ceramic media is the most prefered agent.
This is because of its robust nature. Ceramic media can be used to improve the surfaces of metals like titanium and steel.
The best part about using ceramic media is that it provides the sleekest finish.
Ceramic media finish always provides a cleaner finish, because it has a higher degree of impact (inflictive) on metal parts when tumbling.
Then, after you’ve already identified which process it is that you want to execute, be it polishing or deburring, then you can select the shapes of the media for proper surface improvement.
For deburring, you have to make sure that your media is neither too big nor too small.
You need to have media that will pass through metal cavities, to deburr properly.
Failure to proper deburring can lead to loss of lives at its worst, or even increase in costs of replacing parts due to wear and tear.
Also, burrs bring about miscalculation of dimensions.
Media selection is a crucial part of surface improvement.
When done correctly, you’ll have the best-finished product, in a highly efficient way.
4. What is the process of wet tumbling for metal tumblers?
Now, for wet tumbling, horizontal barrels are widely used.
These horizontal barrels are hexagonal or octagonal.
The horizontal barrel possesses a larger capacity than the oblique barrel.
Also, the horizontal barrel tumbles better.
The barrel is usually watertight because it will be dealing with liquids.
Then, it should be filled up to half full of all the materials, that is, water or the compound to be used, abrasive media and finally the metal parts.
Afterwards, water or a compound or a lubricant is added to the mixture.
It should be added up to about one third below the mix of the media to be used and the metal parts.
This ensures maximum efficiency.
The barrel is then spun at predetermined spins ranging from 20RPM to 40RPM.
The barrel should not spin slower or faster than the recommended spins.
This is because, if it turns faster, the mixture will attach itself to the walls of the barrel because of centrifugal force.
If the barrel spins at slower speeds, the process will take too long, making it uneconomical, and inefficient.
A compound can be added to the mixture of abrasive media and the metal parts to enhance and strengthen surface improvement.
At times, water can act as a hindrance during tumbling, especially if the metal parts are thin and light.
The metal parts will tend to cling together and float on top of the water.
However, with compounds, thin and light metal parts can be tumbled with ease and provide a sleeker look.
The vanes present in the horizontal barrel, make the barrels’ lifespan longer because it protects the barrel against the impacts of tumbling action.
These vanes are mostly made out of rubber.
5. What is a vibratory bowl?
To understand best what a vibratory bowl is, we’ll first have to understand the major difference between vibratory tumbling and barrel tumbling.
Both vibratory and barrel tumbling use similar contents (water, compounds, abrasive media and metal parts).
However, the technique in which they improve surfaces is different.
Check this out:
Vibratory tumbling is a mass finishing technique that is used to improve the surfaces of metal parts.
Surface improvement of metal parts takes place by using specially shaped abrasives into the tub of a vibratory tumbler.
The vibratory tumbler works by slowly rotating while still vibrating the contents in its tub.
The best part about using a vibratory tumbler is that you get to improve the surfaces of fragile or extra-large parts.
Such parts are not suitable for the barrel tumbler.
This is where the vibratory bowl comes in:
A vibratory bowl is simply the tub where surface improvement of metal parts takes place.
6. Can stainless steel be tumbled?
Yes, stainless steel can be tumbled using the appropriate methods of improving surfaces.
The first thing you have to consider is the level of surface improvement you require.
Do you need a shiny surface?
Do you require the highest degree of surface improvement in your parts?
If the answer is yes, then, you will require abrasives that will be highly inflictive, for the case of hard metals, the best media is ceramic.
You can decide to tumble stainless steel with ceramic media in addition to compounds or water for the sleekest output.
Mostly, for stainless steel, you will only need to polish the metal parts, or deburr them, because stainless steel is not prone to rust.
You’ll only need to clean your stainless steel metal parts using water, non-toxic compounds such as vinegar or olive oil or a typical steel cleaner.
For the best polishing of stainless steel metal parts, you can decide to use ceramic media (the best for hard metals like titanium and steel) and then use a vibratory tumbler, together with high lubricity compound used for tumbling. T
his will produce a shiny finish.
7. How can stainless steel parts be tumbled?
Now, as you know, steel is a harder metal just like titanium, and it requires a highly inflictive abrasive for surface polishing because its parts are not prone to rust.
The only surface improvement that can be done for stainless steel is deburring, polishing and rounding corners.
You will need ceramic media to tumble stainless steel parts.
You will also require either a vibratory tumbler or a barrel tumbler to complete the task.
It will be cheaper to tumble stainless steel parts in a batch, as opposed to doing each piece by hand.
You can add the ceramic abrasive together with the stainless steel parts up to half-full of the tumbler, then add a high lubricity compound for surface polishing.
Time used for tumbling here will vary, depending on the degree of sleekness that you desire.
The tumbler is then set on a predetermined speed to ensure maximum efficiency and proper surface improvement of stainless steel parts.
After the process is complete using ceramic media, you can then decide to tumble yet again using plastic media to achieve the sleekest finish.
That, however, will be quite expensive on your end, but on the bright side, your parts will shine like a diamond.
8. What is tumble finishing?
Tumble finishing of metal parts is also known as barrel tumbling is the process of improving the surfaces of metal parts.
To improve the surface of a metal part, you can decide to deburr, polish, burnish, clean, descale, brighten or even choose to remove impurities like rust.
Tumble finishing involves only the cleaning and improving surfaces of small parts.
For softer metal parts that require tumble finishing, synthetic media will be most suitable for tumbling because they are not very inflictive.
As for harder metals, they will require a relatively robust abrasive for better surface improvement.
These abrasives should not be too big to go through metal parts cavities, neither should they be too small that they can just pass through metal parts cavities without cleaning them.
You can choose to use either a vibratory tumbler or a barrel tumbler.
These two work differently, but both achieve the same objective.
Also, you can decide to dry tumble or wet tumble your metal parts, depending on what you need. That is the degree of sleekness that you require.
Barrel tumbling involves the use of a horizontal barrel that has a hexagonal or octagonal shape.
The shape of the barrel must not be circular.
The shape matters a lot because, if the shape is to be circular, the metal parts would not be tumbled.
The barrel would spin, and the mixture of materials would just drag themselves at the bottom of the barrel.
However, with the six-sided or eight-sided barrel, tumbling has become efficient.
The speed at which the barrel spins is also a key factor to consider.
When the barrel rotates too fast, the materials and compounds will tend to cling to the walls of the barrel, and no tumbling action will take place.
Similarly, when the barrel spins at a plodding speed, the process becomes time-consuming and becomes inefficient because minimal tumbling action will have taken place.
Wet tumbling is most prefered over dry tumbling, as dry tumbling is expensive to some extent.
Also, dry tumbling produces a lot of noise compared to wet tumbling.
However, for wet tumbling, you will incur some additional cost of safely disposing of compounds used during the process.
9. What is the difference between barrel tumbling and vibratory tumbling?
Both vibratory and barrel tumblers are used for mass finishing of parts.
They improve the surfaces of metal parts en masse within a short span of time.
Now, for vibratory finishing, parts, media and necessary compounds are placed in a vibratory bowl or tub.
The machine then shakes the contents in its bowl to provide necessary friction for the improvement of surfaces.
The friction grinds the unwanted parts, for example, burrs.
As for barrel finishing, parts, abrasives and necessary compounds are also placed in a six-sided or eight-sided barrel.
The barrel then spins at predetermined speeds to ensure maximum efficiency in the surface improvement process and even the best finish.
The main difference between vibratory and barrel finishing is how they operate.
The vibratory machine vibrates while spinning parts, media and necessary compounds to create friction between the parts.
The parts are placed on the vibratory bowl or tub.
The vibratory finishing system uses mostly ceramic and plastic abrasives.
Further, the vibratory machine tends to move at a higher speed compared to the barrel tumbler in relation to cutting action.
Because of the higher speeds in cutting action of the vibratory tumbler, it (vibratory tumbler) will have lesser cycles compared to the barrel tumbler.
However, barrel tumbling is quite aggressive compared to vibratory finishing.
It is most prefered when dealing with harder metal parts that will require some great surface improvement.
Barrel finishing is recommended for harder metals like titanium and steel.
When it comes to cost, vibratory finishing is quite expensive because the machine consumes a great deal of space, as compared to barrel tumblers.
However, barrel tumblers will take longer to complete cycles but will cost less than the vibratory tumblers.
Both vibratory and barrel tumblers have their pros and cons.
You’ll have to decide which one suits you best for an efficient finishing process.
10. Is the process of using a metal tumbler expensive?
The process of using a metal tumbler can be expensive, depending on what you want to do.
You may want to achieve the highest degree of sleekness on your titanium or stainless steel, or you may just want to round the corners of your soft metals using the cheapest abrasives.
For harder metals, you are advised to use a highly inflictive media, ceramic media, as it tends to improve your surfaces impeccably.
For softer metals, you can decide to use synthetic media, which is relatively weaker than ceramic media and is not very inflictive.
However, when you decide to use synthetic media, you cannot get a shiny finish on your parts.
Only ceramic media provides a shiny finish.
There are again instances where you can decide to double-tumble, by finishing tumbling parts first with ceramic media and then using synthetic media.
The double-tumble process should become quite expensive as opposed to running one cycle.
You are expected to acquire ceramic media, plastic media, compounds or lubricants to use during the process and also, cost of energy for running these machines.
11. How can I clean my metal parts after tumbling?
Cleaning your metal parts after tumbling (dry tumbling) is manageable.
These organic materials are more absorbent compared to sand.
These organic materials have the capability of carrying oils and dirt from parts which have been dry tumbled.
When you dry tumble, you can consider using corn cob grit and ceramic and plastic media together with the metal parts being tumbled.
Pumice, silica from volcanic ash helps improve surfaces faster when you add it with the abrasives, and then the organic material will absorb the dirt and oils well.
For wet tumbling, after using compounds and abrasives to tumble your metal parts, you are advised to thoroughly rinse those parts with fresh water.
After rinsing them, you can then tumble them using corn cob grit under heat lamps to dry the parts.