Proper machine tooling provides for precision and customization in the manufacturing process. It also ensures that parts can be produced accurately and quickly over and over again. Choosing to use a machine tooling micro-abrasive blasting process over other options can significantly improve the quality of the finished product.
For example, creating mold cavities using Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) or laser technology can leave behind graphite residue or laser slag. These residues can result in slight changes to the shape of the part created in the mold.
For micro parts that require a high degree of precision, even slight changes can affect quality and efficiency. Micro-abrasive blasting provides an effective method of removing graphite or laser slag from even the most intricate of parts without changing the dimensions.
In addition, micro-abrasive blasting is effective in deburring metal parts, drilling to very precise specifications, creating a matte finish suitable for bonding, and more. As the demand grows for smaller manufacturing parts, manufacturers increasingly utilize the benefits of micro-abrasive blasting as an efficient and cost-effective part of the machine tooling process.
Some of the key benefits of machine tooling micro-abrasive blasting include precision, surface preparation and the fact that the process is environmentally friendly and promotes user safety.
Delicate machinery components require very precise tooling. Micro-abrasive blasting uses micron-sized particles that are mixed with dry air and blasted at high velocity out of a tiny nozzle. A high-quality round abrasive blasting nozzle produces an extremely accurate abrasive stream. With that, the worker can aim with great precision at a minute target.
Because the nozzles can have openings as small as .25 mm, the resulting stream is accurate enough to etch numbers on a part or to cut patterns on material as delicate as an eggshell. The shape and size of the nozzle, as well as the type of abrasive used, allow the user great control over the tooling process.
Versatile Surface Preparation
An important aspect of machine tooling involves preparing the surface of the part for bonding or plating. Any contaminants or corrosion left on the part can inhibit the coating process. In fact, an estimated three quarters of all premature coating failures occur because of insufficient surface preparation.
Machine tooling micro-abrasive blasting will effectively clean machined parts while preserving structural integrity. Depending on the type of abrasive used, users can also roughen the surface to increase bonding or peen the surface to make it more resistant to corrosion. This helps to avoid costly fixes down the road.
Safety for the Environment and the Worker
Micro-abrasive blasting is not only precise and versatile, but it also presents a much safer alternative to caustic chemicals. Many manufacturers have turned to powerful solvent-based chemicals to clean machined parts. However, these chemicals can cause burns to the eyes, skin and throat. They also produce toxic gases and must be treated as hazardous waste.
In contrast, micro-abrasive blasting offers many eco-friendly options to clean machined parts. The process is conducted in a simple blasting booth and releases no toxins into the air. The abrasive powders are biodegradable and non-hazardous, making them easy to dispose of.
Machine Tooling Micro-Abrasive Blasting Assistance
Airbrasive offers a variety of blasting nozzles and abrasive powders to meet your machine tooling needs. Let us help you tap into the powerful options available to achieve the precision and versatility you need in a way that saves the environment and promotes worker safety.