When looking into the various methods of finishing metal available today one that stands out as a great option is thermal deburring. Most methods available to remove defects from the finish of a part work great if the item is "all surface" but once you get into things that have very intricate and semi-enclosed parts most of the others fall a bit short especially if you are working with items in bulk.
This process is frequently used in screw machine shops and as screws have a lot of less than flat surfaces (ok a little obvious here) a quick and easy method is needed. Removing burrs and flash using heat is an alternative to hand deburring if the parts being finished are small. Thermal chambers do have a bit of a size issue and work best on small parts. You can get more pieces into the chamber if you are not trying to deburr a bowling ballâ¦which I do not recommend.
One of the most common and least expensive of the deburring options available is vibratory deburring. A vibratory deburring system basically places the items to be processed and the appropriate media in a container which then "vibrates" to remove unwanted material from the parts. It is a good choice for small parts however it does not work as well for removing internal burrs. The cost of a thermal setup is a lot more expensive but the cost can be recovered by increased efficiency and the speed of the processâ¦ did I mention it was quick?
When the oxygen and other gases are ignited the process is over in a "flash" the burrs are oxidized and the residue is then ready to be removed from the parts being processed. You will not have to deal with left over bits and pieces that more conventional methods will leave behind. No grit/media to get rid of, no dust or burr bits to dispose of just a little crud that needs to be removed from the part.
The only thing left to do is to remove the oxidized residue from the part which is normally removed by the application of acid based cleaning solution and the part is finished.
Tumbling machines are another method used to deburr items but this can be a little rough on delicate machinery which may not take well to the grit and action that is involved. It also has the same problem as vibratory deburring which is the lack of control over covering the internal parts of an item. If tumbling doesn't do a great job for you thermal deburring just might.