RKK Deburring Plastic Media

RKK plastic media is preformed plastics, the other workhorse media, are also available in a variety of grades or bodies, with some manufacturers having nine grades while others have as few as three.

This media is formed by bonding abrasives (generally 40-70% by weight) into polyester, usually by casting. After casting, this media is typically pre-tumbled to remove flash. The plastic media is sofer, has a lower density than preformed ceramic media, providesa cusioning effect, and sometimes has a shorter life. It is well suitable for finishing softer metals and fragile parts, achieving pre-plating requirements, and producing smooth finishes as low as 5 micrometers. During finishing the matrix which is softer than the abrasive, is eroded, leaving the abrasive to perform the desired work, While some users believe it assures parts free of impingement, this is not ture, All the mass finishing processes expert for fixtured or compartmentalized operations allow part-on-part contact. Plastic media can also be produced in a wide variety of desirable shapes. In practice over a decade some shapes go out of favor and new ones emerge.

Inovatec Noted that the plastic media provides no surface hardening of the workpieces. In addition, plastic media is also quiter than abbrasive chips.

Plastic deburring media is now used by many manufacturers to polish and deburr delicate metals. But what is it and does it work? Let’s find out more about this type of tumbling media and see how it works.

What is Plastic Deburring Media?

We know that tumbling media is used to give materials an altered appearance or look. Different types of media offer different types of finishes. One such type of tumbling media is the plastic deburring media. Plastic tumbling media is used for general purpose metal removal and moderate cutting of softer metals. It is a 50-50 weight formula as it uses equal quantities of resins and abrasives. Plastic tumbling media is a polyester resin media bonded using abrasives such as silica, alumina, and zirconia among others.

plastic deburring media

This type of tumbling media is generally used for deburring and polishing softer metals such as aluminum and brass. But by adjusting the composition you can achieve various cutting powers asper your finishing requirements. Also, you can use plastic tumbling media for stringy materials to avoid rolling the burrs into holes.

Note- A higher cutting power will wear out the media sooner than its usual wear rate. So, modify the composition if you are ready to face the consequences.

Uses of Plastic Tumbling Media

Considering its soft surface, plastic media is perfect for deburring and polishing fragile metals such as zinc, brass, and aluminum. Plastic deburring media generates a low RA surface finish. This means the final parts are ready to use as soon as they’ve finished tumbling. It is used for secondary finishing after ceramic tumbling media to smooth the surface of parts and polish them. To see the finished products after tumbling with plastic media, take a look at this image.

Plastic media can also be used for descaling and deburring plastic parts without breaking them. The different applications of plastic deburring media include,

  • Pre-plating
  • Fast cutting
  • General surface smoothening

tumbling media for aluminum

Selecting the Right Size of Plastic Tumbling Media

Selecting the right plastic tumbling media can be tricky and may take some trial and error for beginners. So, here are a few suggestions to select the right size and shape of plastic deburring media for you.

When choosing from different plastic tumbling media, four components play a vital role. They are,

  1. Shape
  2. Size
  3. Abrasive Size
  4. Composition

Plastic tumbling media (or tumbling media in general) come in a variety of shapes like stars, balls, pellets, and sharp-edged stars. Depending on the size of the parts that you tumble and the purpose of tumbling, you can select from the available shapes of plastic tumbling media.

Do the parts need deburring or finishing? Will it be mild or strong? How long will it take? What size of media will reach the features you want?

plastic deburring media

These are common questions you must find answers to so you can select the perfect shape and size of plastic deburring media. Cones and stars are best if you wish to reach an area without being concerned about lodging. Cylinders and pellets are best used when polishing or deburring through holes. The media size may vary slightly but does not mess with the overall functioning. If your main aim is to polish the parts, then it is best to use smaller plastic tumbling media bits.

Pros and Cons of Plastic Deburring Media

Plastic tumbling media generates a smooth surface that does not shine. So, your part is left with a matt finish. The process includes tumbling the material with plastic media in a barrel for hours (even days) to reach the desired result. As you can tumble many parts simultaneously, the process is cheaper and quicker than physically polishing and smoothening every edge of the parts. Plastic tumbling media is lightweight and resilient which makes it very suitable for delicate metals like aluminum.

Advantages of Plastic Tumbling Media

So, what are the top advantages of plastic tumbling media? Here is a look.

  • Plastic deburring media features a smooth surface finish.

This includes avoiding rolling the burr over into a hole.

  • Excellent for soft metals.

You cannot use other types of tumbling media for softer metals as there is a risk of breakage.

  • It is ideal for light to heavy cutting.

This type of tumbling media leaves a minimum risk of separation of parts. You can use it to tumble fragile parts.

  • Medium density tumbling media.

Plastic media is lighter than ceramic tumbling media. This means the process may take longer but it is also clear that it is perfect for delicate materials.

  • Wide range of shapes and sizes.

Plastic tumbling media is available in multiple shapes, some of them are:

  • Pyramid plastic media
  • Paraboloid plastic media
  • Cone plastic media
  • Cylinder plastic media

Beside different shapes of plastic tumbling media, you can also choose from many sizes ranging between small to large.

  • Quicker tumbling cycles.

Modifying the composition of the plastic tumbling media, you can alter the time it takes to complete one cycle.

Although plastic tumbling media is formulated to create a smooth finish it is also used to cut through intricate metals like brass and magnesium. It is used for edge rounding on plastics and other materials which makes plastic media an ideal choice to smooth the surface of plastic parts. Also, you can use it to prepare parts for anodizing.

Disadvantages of Plastic Deburring Media

There are two possible downsides of using plastic deburring media over ceramic tumbling media. One is that it takes longer than ceramic media to reach the desired result. The second disadvantage is that it does not give the materials a shiny finish after they are polished.

In a Nutshell

Plastic deburring media can be used to cut and smooth softer metals like aluminum, brass, zinc, and magnesium. It comes in multiple shapes and sizes which are ideal for different applications. Tetrahedrons and cones are great for parts with holes and triangles for corners and flat surfaces. Plastic tumbling media ensures the best surface quality of metals without discoloring them. This type of tumbling media is lighter than the rest like ceramic tumbling media and steel tumbling media.

Scroll to Top
Send this to a friend