The History of Deburring
Deburring machines have been in use for hundreds, and maybe thousands, of years. The machines use an agitation process to bump different materials around with another material that smoothes and polishes the surface of the object, eliminating imperfections and giving the finished object a glossy shine. Original tumblers were used to polish rocks, shine jewelry, remove imperfections from ancient tools, and to shape and polish wood. Modern deburring machines are designed to remove the metal burrs and other imperfections from tools in the manufacturing process. Other machines clean the surface of parts, removing rust and contamination.
Rotary tumblers work by rotating the objects together around inside a tumbler. The original tumbling machines use this form of operation. The operator placed the material inside along with a buffing or polishing device, such as sharp rocks, wax, or wood pieces. The tumblers rotated for days or weeks at a time to achieve the finished results.
Obviously, taking days or weeks to remove the burrs from metal is too long for the modern manufacturing industry. Once the industrial revolution hit, manufacturers came up with new, better ways to accomplish the same tasks. The invention of vibrating tumblers was one of these new and improved methods. A vibrating tumbler uses motors or magnetic energy to power the tumbler. The tumbler vibrates at a high speed to jostle the materials inside the tumbler together. The same kinds of fillers are used to help smooth and polish the items. Most vibrating tumblers can accomplish in a day what it takes weeks for a rotary tumbler to complete.
The deburring process has come a long way since its original invention long ago. Today, it is possible to find deburring machines ranging from tiny household models to large, industrial machines used in the manufacturing process of metal parts and other goods. In the next hundred years, it is likely that we will still see more evolution in the ancient process of tumbling.