Deburring & Finishing Technologies provides expert abrasive flow machining services and abrasive flow media to manufacturers throughout the Pittsburgh area. Abrasive flow machining is a finishing process that uses an abrasive media to smooth and polish a workpiece. The abrasive flow process provides many benefits when it comes to removing burrs and other surface imperfections from parts made from metal, plastic, ceramics, and more.

What Are Surface Imperfections?

Surface imperfections are any deviation or irregularity that affects the surface quality of a manufactured or machined part. It’s not unusual for the inner or outer surfaces of a part generated by conventional manufacturing processes like machining, deformation, additive, electrochemical, etc. to contain slight geometrical imperfections. When the size, shape, orientation, or location of a surface imperfection deviates beyond a certain degree, it becomes a defect.

Some examples of surface imperfections include:

  • Burrs
  • Pits
  • Surface roughness
  • Tool marks
  • Dents
  • Scratches
  • Cracks
  • Weld spatter
  • Inclusions
  • Corrosion

Various quality control measures and inspection methods are used to detect and address surface imperfections during the manufacturing process to ensure the final product meets the desired standards. The consequences for failing to address these imperfections can be wide-ranging. In addition to mechanical failures, surface imperfections can result in the devaluation of a part, component, or brand; the need to re-work or redesign a component; and legal liabilities, especially if the defective part causes personal injury or property damage.

How do Surface Imperfections Affect the Quality of a Finished Work Piece?

There are many ways surface imperfections can impact a part’s functionality, perceived functionality, or value. How they affect a workpiece depends on the type and severity of the imperfections, as well as the intended use of the workpiece. Here are a few ways surface imperfections impact part quality:

  • Reduced structural integrity. Cracks, pits, dents, and other surface imperfections can weaken a workpiece’s structural integrity.
  • Impaired mechanical performance: Surface imperfections can compromise the mechanical properties of the workpiece.
  • Increased wear and friction: Rough surfaces or surface imperfections can increase friction and wear, leading to reduced component lifespan and efficiency.
  • Reduced fuel efficiency. Surface imperfections can impede the flow of air and gas, reducing fuel efficiency.
  • Safety hazards. Surface imperfections impact performance and reliability, which can lead to safety hazards.
  • Aesthetics: Surface imperfections can affect the appearance of a workpiece.

The Advantages of Abrasive Flow Machining for Removing Surface Imperfections

When it comes to smoothing away surface imperfections from a workpiece, more and more manufacturers are opting to use the abrasive flow machining process. Some of the advantages of using abrasive flow machining as a finishing process include:

  • Consistent and precisely controlled material removal.
  • Accurate, predictable, and repeatable results.
  • Greatly reduced surface roughness and improved surface finishes.
  • Ideal for parts with complex geometries and internal passages that may be impossible to reach using other finishing processes.
  • Shorter cycle times.
  • It’s more cost-effective than other finishing processes.
  • The process can deburr and polish parts made from a variety of materials.

Abrasive Flow Machining Services in Pittsburgh

Deburring & Finishing Technologies is here to fulfill all your abrasive flow machining needs. We’ve been providing outstanding abrasive flow machining services and media to companies in Pittsburgh and West Pennsylvania since 2009. Our abrasive flow media is precisely formulated to deliver the accurate, high-precision finishes today’s manufacturers demand.

Contact us through our website or call us at (412) 849-1522 to learn more about our services and custom-formulated abrasive flow media. Our team of engineers and specialists is here to answer any abrasive flow machining questions you may have and provide a free quote.