Today’s high-performance auto parts need to be finished to exact specifications. Burrs and other surface imperfections can have a big impact on the way an auto part performs. These parts generally have intricate geometries that include complex inner and outer surfaces. While traditional deburring methods can remove outer surface imperfections, they’re often ineffective when it comes to deburring the inner surfaces of a part.
Abrasive flow machining (AFM), also known as extrude hone machining, is a finishing process that can deburr and polish the inner and outer surfaces of a part. Auto parts manufacturers use AFM processes to finish and polish a wide range of components, including valve bodies, cylinder heads, diesel nozzles, and engine blocks, all of which require a high degree of precision and surface finish. AFM can smooth and remove burrs in a way other finishing processes can’t.
The Abrasive Flow Process
AFM uses an abrasive media to smooth and polish parts. The abrasive media consists of an abrasive material mixed with a polymer carrier. The type of abrasive material used depends on a workpiece’s composition.
The abrasive media (known as abrasive flow media or extrude hone media) is hydraulically extruded and forced along the inner and outer surfaces of a workpiece. As it does so, the abrasive media hones the workpiece, eroding burrs, and other surface imperfections.
The AFM process offers many benefits to auto parts manufacturers, including:
- Improved efficiency. AFM can achieve smoother surfaces and flow paths resulting in improved function, reliability, and performance of finished parts.
- Longer part life. Because they are less prone to wear and tear, ATM-finished parts are more durable and have a longer life.
- Consistent results. The AFM process can be precisely controlled and produces repeatable results, ensuring consistency across multiple components. AFM produces smoother and more uniform surfaces compared to other methods.
- Abrasive media can be formulated to finish parts made from a wide range of materials, including plastics, metals, and ceramics.
- More cost-effective. AFM has shorter cycle times, can be automated, and is capable of processing multiple parts at the same time. In many cases, the extrude hone media can be reused for multiple jobs.
Automotive Applications of AFM
The AFM process is used for many applications in the automotive industry, including:
- Engine components. AFM optimizes air and fuel flow, resulting in improved combustion efficiency and overall engine performance.
- Fuel injectors. AFM is used to refine the internal passages of fuel injectors to optimize spray patterns for efficient combustion.
- Transmission components. AFM optimizes the contact surfaces of gears, shafts, and other transmission parts, reducing friction and improving shifting smoothness.
- AFM can enhance airflow and reduce turbulence in turbocharger components such as impellers and housings.
- Hydraulic and pneumatic components. AFM can improve fluid flow and reduce pressure losses in hydraulic valve bodies, pneumatic components, and other fluid-carrying parts.
- Diesel fuel systems. AFM improves the flow characteristics in diesel spray nozzles. It can be used to increase flow by as much as 200% while maintaining a .5% spread.
Deburring & Finishing Technology: The Abrasive Flow Machining Experts
Deburring & Finishing Technologies has been providing high-quality abrasive flow deburring services, equipment, and consumables to manufacturers across the nation since 2009. Our team of AFM engineers and technicians possess the experience, equipment, and expertise to tackle just about any AFM job. We offer more than 50 different abrasive flow media options and can custom formulate an abrasive flow media for the specific requirement of your job.
Auto manufacturers companies all over the nation turn to Deburring & Finishing Technologies for expert abrasive flow deburring services and custom-formulated abrasive flow media. You can contact us through our website or call Deburring & Finishing Technologies at (412) 849-1522 to discuss your AFM job and get a free quote.