Machine tools, both manually operated and numerical control (CNC) deliver precision and flexibility in manufacturing. A well-engineered machine tool process ensures the rapid and accurate production of machined parts. Choosing to use micro-abrasive blasting in the production process over other options enhances the quality of the finished parts.
The primary benefits of machine tooling micro-abrasive blasting include environmental and worker safety, precision and accuracy, and improved surface preparation.
Environmental and Worker Safety
Precise and versatile, Micro-abrasive blasting presents a much safer alternative to caustic chemicals. Many manufacturers opt for strong solvent-based chemicals to clean machined parts. However, on occasion, burns to the eyes, skin and throat unfortunately result from their use. Other disadvantages include the production of toxic gases and hazardous waste handling.
On the other hand, micro-abrasive blasting offers many environmentally safe options to clean machined parts. Operators conduct the blasting process in a blasting booth that releases no toxins into the surrounding air. The biodegradable and non-hazardous abrasive powders provide for easy disposal.
Precision and Accuracy
Delicate machined parts require precise tooling. Micro-abrasive blasting employs micron-sized particles 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 the worker aims with great precision.
With openings as small as .25 mm, the nozzles produce a stream 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 precise control over the blasting process.
Improved Surface Preparation
Preparing the surface of machined parts for bonding or plating often becomes an important step in the manufacturing process. Any contaminants or corrosion left on the part inhibits the coating process. Indeed, an estimated 75 percent of premature coating failures follow improper surface preparation.
Micro-abrasive blasting effectively cleans machined parts while preserving structural integrity. Operators also roughen the surface to increase bonding or peen the surface to make it more resistant to corrosion by using different types of abrasives. This prevents costly fixes later in the life of the part.
Electrical Discharge Machining
For example, using Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) or laser technology to create mold cavities often leaves behind graphite residue or laser slag. These residues affect the molded part in subtle ways, creating slight variations in shape.
Even slight changes to micro parts that require a high degree of precision affect quality and efficiency. Micro-abrasive blasting effectively removes graphite or laser slag from the surface of even the most complex and delicate parts without altering the dimensions.
Furthermore, micro-abrasive blasting effectively drills to precise specifications. It is also used for lapping uneven or internal surfaces, and even for adjusting the frequency of tuning forks, among other applications. Manufacturers increasingly turn to micro-abrasive blasting as an essential and cost-effective component of the machine tooling process as the demand for smaller machined parts grows.
Machined Part Micro-Abrasive Blasting Experts
Airbrasive offers decades of experience and a variety of blasting nozzles and abrasive powders to meet a variety of machine shop needs. Tap into the versatile options available to achieve the safety, precision, and quality you need to effectively cut costs, improve quality, and grow your business.