Abrasive flow machining (AFM) is a finishing process that uses abrasive flow media to smooth rough edges and remove surface imperfections from a workpiece. This abrasive flow media consists of one or more abrasive materials combined with a polymer to create a viscous, putty-like substance. The abrasive flow media smooths and polishes a workpiece while eroding away burrs and other flaws, improving its function, durability, and performance.

There are many types of abrasives used in the formulation of abrasive flow media. Silicon carbide is one of the most commonly used abrasives in abrasive flow media. Its hardness, high melting point, and chemical inertness make it ideal for a wide range of AFM applications.

What is Silicon Carbide?

Silicon carbide, also known as carborundum, is a compound consisting of silicon and carbon. It’s one of the hardest materials known, with a hardness comparable to that of diamonds. Silicon carbide also has excellent thermal conductivity and semiconducting properties,

While silicon carbide occurs naturally in moissanite, an extremely rare mineral, it has also been mass-produced as an abrasive powder or crystal since the late 1800s. Today it’s used for many applications. In addition to abrasive flow media, silicon carbide is also used in the manufacturing of automobile parts, heating elements, bulletproof vests, and electric systems.

The Advantages of Abrasive Flow Machining

Many industries, including automotive, medical, electronics, and energy manufacturers utilize AFM as part of their manufacturing process. That’s because AFM provides many benefits over other finishing processes:

  • AFM can deburr and polish parts made from a variety of materials, including the hardest metals.
  • AFM is often more cost-effective than other finishing methods.
  • AFM can achieve high levels of accuracy and produce repeatable results.
  • AFM can greatly reduce surface roughness and produce finishes that are smoother and more uniform compared to other finishing methods.
  • AFM is ideal for parts with complex geometries and internal passages that may be impossible to reach using other finishing processes.

Where to Find Silicon Carbide Abrasive Flow Media in Pittsburgh, PA

Some of Pittsburgh’s biggest manufacturers choose Deburring & Finishing Technologies as their #1 source for reliable, high-quality abrasive flow media. We’ve been providing premium abrasive flow machining services, equipment, and consumables to businesses throughout Pittsburgh, PA, and surrounding communities since 2009.

When it comes to abrasive flow media, we offer more than 50 different options to choose from You can select from a wide range of abrasive materials, including silicon carbide, that are available in various grit sizes, shapes, densities, hardness, etc. LV-150-1.5 (Low viscosity, 150 grit silicon carbide abrasive, at a ratio of 1.5# to 1# of the total chemistry) is one of our most widely used abrasive media. We have the capabilities to custom formulate our abrasive flow media to meet the unique requirements of your job.

If you’re looking for silicon carbide or other abrasive flow media in Pittsburgh, PA, give Deburring & Finishing Technologies a call. You can contact us through our website or call us at (412) 849-1522 to speak with one of our highly experienced engineers and AFM specialists about your Pittsburgh, PA abrasive flow machining project.