Good machine tooling facilitates precision and flexibility in the manufacturing process. It also ensures the rapid and accurate reproduction of parts. Using a machine tooling micro-abrasive blasting preparation process over other options can greatly improve the quality of the finished product when shaping or machining metal.
For example, using laser technology or Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) to create mold cavities can leave behind laser slag or graphite residue. These residues often create minor variations in the shape of the part created from the mold.
Even slight deviations can affect the quality and efficiency of micro parts that require a high degree of precision. Micro-abrasive blasting effectively removes laser slag or graphite from even the most complex parts without altering the dimensions.
Likewise, micro-abrasive blasting effectively deburrs metal parts and drills to very precise specifications. It also creates a matte finish suitable for bonding. As the demand grows for smaller parts used in manufacturing, manufacturers increasingly apply micro-abrasive blasting as an efficient and cost-effective step in the machine tooling process.
Some of the primary benefits of shaping or machining metal with micro-abrasive blasting include flexible surface preparation, precision, and employing an environmentally friendly process that promotes operator safety.
Flexible Surface Preparation
The machine tooling process often involves preparing the surface of the part for bonding or plating. Any contaminants or corrosion left on the part will likely inhibit the coating process. Indeed, experts estimate that three quarters of all premature coating failures happen because of poor surface preparation.
Using micro-abrasive blasting for shaping or machining metal effectively cleans machined parts and preserves structural integrity. Depending on the abrasive media selected, operators can also peen the surface to make it more resistant to corrosion or roughen it to increase bonding. This helps to eliminate costly fixes later.
Precision for Shaping or Machining Metal
Delicate machinery parts require precise tooling. Micro-abrasive blasting employs micron-sized media mixed with dry air and blasted at high velocity out of a very small nozzle. A round high-quality abrasive blasting nozzle delivers an extremely accurate abrasive stream. With that precision, the operator can aim with great accuracy at a very small target.
Because the nozzles come with openings as small as .25 mm, the stream they produce is accurate enough to etch numbers on a part. Some use it to cut patterns on material as delicate as an eggshell. The type of abrasive used as well as the shape and size of the nozzle allow the operator precise control over the tooling process.
Safe and Environmentally Friendly
Micro-abrasive blasting is not only precise and flexible, but it also works as a much safer alternative to caustic chemical processes. Many manufacturers use powerful solvent-based chemicals to clean machined parts. However, these chemicals have the potential to cause burns to the eyes, skin and throat. They also produce toxic gases and must be treated as hazardous waste.
On the other hand, micro-abrasive blasting offers several eco-friendly options to clean machined parts. The cleaning process is performed in a self-contained blasting booth and releases no toxins into the environment. The process employs easy to dispose of biodegradable and non-hazardous abrasive powders.
Micro-Abrasive Blasting Assistance for Shaping or Machining Metal
Airbrasive offers a variety of blasting nozzles and abrasive powders to meet a variety of machine tooling requirements. Let our experts help you with the options available to achieve the precision and flexibility needed in a safe and environmentally friendly way.