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We are excited to share that we have recently purchased more equipment to offer even more services to our customers. 


Latem Industries Limited will be installing several new shot blasting/shot peening equipment over the next couple of months.  These machines will allow us to widen our services in ceramic media blasting, directional blasting as well as tube and pipe blasting.


Shot blasting is a set of technical processes designed to remove various impurities from metal surfaces. We use it to clean contaminants like dirt and oil from mass quantities of parts at once. It’s also a highly efficient method of removing metal oxides like rust or mill scale.


Shot blasting is an important step in preparing metal parts for painting, powder coating or other coating methods that require a clean surface in order to adhere. It is practically mandatory in many industries, including the automotive, metal manufacturing, aviation, shipbuilding industries, as well as foundries and the production of welded structures.


Latem Industries utilizes various methods to meet our customers’ specific shot blasting requirements. Here are a list of blasting options at Latem:


1. Tumble Blasting


Tumble blast machines are comprised of either a rubber or steel belt that’s driven within an enclosed blasting cabinet. Metal components are placed into the blasting cabinet in batches, where they are continuously impacted by one or more high-pressure streams of abrasive materials (called shot or blasting media.) 


We can vary the type, shape, size and density of the abrasive materials to achieve different results. The metal abrasives we utilize in tumble blasting include steel grit, steel shot and glass bead.  One of the new machines currently going in will incorporate ceramic media.


During the tumble blasting process, the metal components are also continuously bumping against each other to help knock off surface contaminants and defects.  Some of the advantages of this type of blasting is a consistent finish, with competitive pricing as many parts can be ran at once.



2. Index Table Blasting


Index table blast machines are comprised of a blasting chamber with a large, circular turntable and several smaller ‘satellite’ tables attached to the turntable’s surface.   The table indexes under a stream of blast media, cleaning the part.   


Index table blasting allows us to process rotationally symmetrical shapes in large batches. The operation is well-suited for components that are fragile and cannot withstand the impact of hitting against each other in a tumble blasting operation. Some of the common applications include cleaning, finishing and deburring of axles, draft shafts and gear assembles.


3. Conveyor blasters


Conveyor blasting is when the part is fixtured on a belt or hung from a hook and sent through a blast chamber.  Multiple blast wheels fire media at the part from multiple angles to ensure complete coverage.  Ideal for larger and/or longer parts.  Tooling can be built to run multiple pieces per hook, making it very efficient as well.


4. Conveyor blasters for pipe and tube


Similar to the above conveyor blaster, the part is fed through a blast chamber where multiple wheels are firing media at the part.  The difference on this line,  is that the part is rotated as it goes through the blaster to ensure 100% coverage on all sides of the part when doing shot peening.  This ensures no weak spots on the steel part.  This is another new machine that is going in over the next couple of months, furthering our abilities to help our customers.





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Edge flash formed on various molding and die castings are often removed by mass finishing equipment.  Castings are usually trimmed in a die.  The resulting thin fins and flash around the edges are removed, and radii which could not be built into the die are generated. Residual sand, cold shots and similar surface imperfections can also be removed during processing.  The type of metal, ceramic or plastic and the condition of the workpiece will determine type of media and specific process required.  Soft metallic or resin bonded media are usually preferred for processing zinc and soft aluminum castings, with buffered liquid compounds or soft abrasive compounds to avoid gouging or impingement of parts.  Metallic media or ceramic media with a low cut rate are used on harder metals, in conjunction with liquid or abrasive compounds, depending on the degree of surface refinement required.


At Latem, we employ blast deflashing and ultrasonic deflashing. 


Blast deflashing is a traditional way to deflash metal pieces. The blasting equipment sprays metal shot or grit on the part surface using high pressure and speed. The metal shot abrades flash away from parts. This method can be used for all materials and parts with a low surface appearance requirement because  deflashing process produces a rough surface. The pros of this method are that the deflashing equipment can be designed for an automatic line with a transport belt. It also can be used as a manual spray gun. The flexibility of this method makes it suitable for mass production and small handling. The con to this method is that it may not be suitable for parts with a high aesthetic surface requirement due to its strong abrasion of the part surface.


Ultrasonic vibration deflashing comes from ultrasonic cleaning technology. The ultrasonic energy generated by an ultrasonic generator is transmitted to mechanical energy that forces water into a very high vibration mode that, in turn, deflashes the part.


The ultrasonic vibration method is suitable for metal as well as plastic components. It is not appropriate for rubber material because of the material’s toughness. The benefit of this method, is that the deflashing effect for plastic materials shows good deflashing results without damaging the part surface. The disadvantage is that it has issues with some materials (rubber), and in some cases is not strong enough to remove the wanted flash. 


To recap:


Blasting deflashing is an effective and efficient method for parts with low surface quality requirements. It can be used for all types of materials. Ultrasonic vibration deflashing is an efficient and comparatively economic way to deflash. It can be used for metal and plastic parts that are not too soft.


To learn more about blasting deflashing, please contact us.

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What is Nylon?

Nylons have been around since the early 1940's and were the first commercially successful synthetic thermoplastic polymers. Nylon falls under the category of polyamides which include both natural substances (silk) and synthetic materials (thermoplastics). Due to their characteristics, nylon is widely used in such fields as Aerospace, Automotive, Medical and many others. In 3D printing, nylon has become the most widely used material. As for the numbers that follow the abbreviation PA (which stands for Polyamide), it simply indicates the number of carbon atoms in the material.  Nylon powder coating is widely used to protect a variety of metal substrates such as steel and aluminum.  It is applied either electrostatically or in a fluid bed.  It protects a wide variety of applications from corrosion to impact and abrasion. 

What are PA11, Nylon PA12  made from?


Nylon PA11 is a fine bioplastic polyamide powder. The material is among the rare bio-based engineering plastics made out of renewable raw materials derived from vegetable oil, mainly castor oil. It is produced by Arkema, under the trade name Rilsan, from castor beans.


Unlike PA11, Nylon PA12 is a synthetic whitish fine powder derived mainly from petroleum sources. Nylon PA12 has many manufacturers which include Arkema and Evonik, whereas PA11 is only manufactured by Arkema.


What are the properties of PA11?


PA11 has properties quite similar to Nylon PA12. However, PA11 has a lower environmental impact, consumes less non-renewable resources to be produced, and has superior thermal resistance. Indeed, PA11 is stable to light, UV, and weather. It is also characterized by good elasticity, high elongation at break and high impact resistance. Moreover, it has an excellent resistance to chemicals, especially hydrocarbons, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, fuels, detergents, oils, fats, mineral bases, and salts.

What about Nylon PA12?


Nylon PA12, on the other hand, is exceptionally strong even when temperatures dip below freezing. It is characterized by high strength, stiffness, strong resistance to cracking under stress, and an excellent long-term constant behavior. Furthermore, with a lower concentration of amides (nitrogen-containing organic compounds) than any other commercially available polyamide, Nylon PA12 absorbs very little moisture, has an excellent resistance to chemicals including hydraulic fluids, oil, fuels, grease, salt water, and solvents, dampens noise and vibration, and is highly processable.


What are their typical applications?


Nylon is the material of choice for the most demanding applications due largely to its unique combination of thermal, physical, chemical and mechanical properties.   The result is an outstanding cost to performance ratio.  Another unique quality of Nylon is that it meets autoclave requirements, making it ideal for the medical industry.


As mentioned earlier, it can be applied via electrostatic and fluid bed methods.  Latem uses both methods.  


When we apply our Nylon coating electrostatically we spray the part with a dry powder that is fluidized with air and then is post cured. Electrostatic Spray is generally applied at a thickness ranging from 1.5 – 15 mils (thousandths of an inch).  


The Fluid Bed Nylon coating is applied through a dip process where the part is preheated and dipped into a dry powder that is fluidized with air and then post cured. Fluid Bed vinyl is generally applied at a thickness ranging from 5 to 40 mils (thousandths of an inch). Typical coating application temperatures are usually in the range of 180°C to 250 °C (360 to 480 °F).


Nylon based powders are recommended for both interior and exterior applications.


To find out how we can help, please contact us.

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What is the difference between shot blasting and shot peening?


Shot blasting is used primarily to improve a surface finish, whether that improvement means removing rust or preparing a part for coating. Shot peening is used primarily to remove residual stresses from a part, therefore strengthening it, and enhancing the shelf life.


Shot blasting or peening Stainless Steel?


Parts can be blasted with glass, ceramic, organic material, plastic and steel media.  All the different media’s have their pros and cons.  However, if the process or specification requires steel shot to blast or peen the stainless steel, oxidization/rusting will occur afterwards on the stainless steel part. 



You would think that stainless steel is exactly that – stainless.  What makes stainless steel stainless? In a word, chrome. Stainless steel is an alloy of iron with a minimum of 10.5 percent chromium. Chromium produces a thin layer of oxide on the surface of the steel—the “passive” layer—that prevents surface corrosion.  When shot blasting/peening with a steel media, the carbon steel media used embeds contaminants into the stainless steel.    Unprotected carbon steel rusts when exposed to air and moisture. This iron oxide film (rust) is “active” and accelerates corrosion by making it easier for more iron oxide to form. 


One way to eliminate this issue, is to blast/peen the stainless parts with stainless steel media.  By doing this, no contaminants are embedded into the stainless part, and thus, no rusting.  However, only stainless steel parts can be blasted in stainless steel media.  Should you blast a carbon steel part in stainless steel media, you will contaminate your media, which will in turn contaminate future stainless parts.  Stainless steel media is very expensive in comparison to carbon steel media, so most mass finishers do not have machines loaded with stainless steel media, and if they do, the price reflects this as they are limited in the jobs they can run in that machine.


Another method to solve this issue is passivation.  In stainless steel, passivation means removing the free iron from the surface of the metal using an acid solution to prevent rust. When the surface iron is removed, the other components of the alloy (primarily chromium, often nickel as well) are left behind as a surface layer over the underlying steel. Upon exposure to air, these elements react with oxygen to form an oxide layer that protects the rest of the steel from corrosion. solutions, bleach or salt (oceanic environments) all will contribute to the need for passivation of the stainless steel.


Call Latem for your stainless steel shot blasting or peening.  We are the experts. 


Click to get in touch.

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Parts Washing

Nearly all metal components require surface preparation to clean and remove oil, grease or smut from the surface.  


Degreasing is an essential step in the surface finishing process of manufacturing automotive parts, appliances, electronics and other applications. As metal components are often coated, painted, plated or welded, it is critical to remove any foreign contaminants that may affect the adhesion of a coating or the quality of a weldment.  


Mass finishers have several fast, cost-effective ways to clean metal components at a mass production scale. However, not all oils are created equal. It is important to select a part-specific mass washing method that will remove grime efficiently without damaging the underlying parts. 


Latem Industries offers a wide range of component cleaning processes to meet virtually any requirement. These are four of the industrial parts washing methods we use in our mass finishing operations: 


  1. Auger Wash 
  2. Ultrasonic Wash 
  3. Conveyor Wash 
  4. Belt Wash


1. Auger Wash 

Our auger washer uses a screw-turning like motion to push parts forward through a wash, rinse, optional rust inhibitor and dry cycle. 


First, components are loaded into the auger. Next, we add solvent-based or solvent-containing cleaning agents designed to remove water-insoluble substances such as grease, oils, waxes, tars and fats.  


The components then begin a long, spiral of washing and rinsing. Once the cycle is complete, the parts travel through an in-line drying oven and are then off-loaded.  


The auger wash is ideal for washing large quantities of smaller components. However, due to the aggressiveness of this method, it is not as well-suited for delicate parts. 


2. Ultrasonic Wash 

Ultrasonic washing uses cavitation bubbles created by high-frequency sound pressure waves to agitate a liquid. The components are placed in a basket and lowered into a transducer, which creates ultrasonic waves. The combined force of the agitation and cleaning agents creates pressure to force oil, grease and smut adhering to metal to be removed.  


One of the advantages of ultrasonic sound waves is that they penetrate through cracks and recesses to completely clean every facet of a part. Ultrasonic wash is also ideal for delicate parts, as the cleaning is created solely by sound waves. In addition to cleaning metal components, this versatile part washing method can clean components made of plastic, ceramic and glass. 


Latem Industries’ ultrasonic wash department includes two ultrasonic stations: one for general cleaning purposes and the other to achieve specific cleanliness specs. Our technicians use a state-of-the-art particle analysis system to ensure parts are completely clean at a microscopic level. 


3. Conveyor Wash 

As the name suggests, this mass washing method is completed on a conveyor line. Components are hung onto the line and then travel through a cleaning chamber that uses high-pressure wash from all directions to remove contaminants.  


Conveyor washing is incredibly versatile as it can accommodate both large and small components. In fact, components up to 4’ tall and up to 15’ long can simply and easily be cleaned in conveyor wash. 


3. Belt Wash 

Similar to conveyor washing, however, not all parts can accommodate being hung on a conveyor, due to configuration, weight or other factors.  These parts are then put on a belt that travels through the cleaning chamber. The part is blasted from all sides by high pressure wash.


Ask the Mass Finishing Experts 

From large and complex to small and delicate, Latem Industries offers a cost-effective solution to remove contaminants from any component. 


To discover more about the many options we offer for cleaning your components and to receive a no charge quotation, contact us online or by phone at 1-519-740-0292 


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Shot peening

Shot peening is the process used to harden, and improve the fatigue life, of metal objects. 


For centuries, man has been using force on metal to improve fatigue life.  We are all familiar with Hollywood movies showing blacksmiths repeatedly hammering metal to improve its strength.  Shot peening is similar as it is a mechanical process to repeat that desired effect of the blacksmith.


Different machines are used in shot peening; air blast or wheel blast, but all have the same end result.  In shot peening, small spherical balls are directed toward the surface of the metal object.  These balls can be made of ceramic, glass, cut wire or steel.  Upon impact, the balls create tiny craters/dimples on the metal.   When a group of these balls/shotsimpact the surface they generate multiple indentations, resulting in the component being encased by a compressive stressed layer on the metal surface.Image of Shot Blasting and Peening


This induced compressive stress layer increases resistance to fatigue (including corrosion fatigue, stress corrosion and cavitation erosion) while also helping to resist the development and propagation of cracks.


The surface residual compressive stresses created by shot peening will differ depending on factors including the intensity and coverage of the peening media. Intensity is measured with an ‘Almen Strip Test’.  This test includes blasting a size-determined strip of metal with the media and measuring the deformation of the strip.  Using a formula and graphs, and repeating the process one can determine intensity. Coverage can be measured multiple ways to ensure complete coverage of the area requiring peening.  All shot peening specifications will list the required intensity and coverage. 


Not enough coverage or too weak of intensity will not sufficiently harden the metal.  Too much peening will result in excessive cold working of the surface of the workpiece, which can lead to fatigue cracking. It is therefore important to take account of the material properties alongside the peening intensity and exposure time.


In addition to these applications, shot peening can be used for sand removal in foundries, descaling, and surface finishing for castings used in engine blocks and cylinder heads.


The process is also widely used to relieve tensile stresses created through work hardening in aircraft repairs. Where processes such as grinding can create tensile stresses, shot peening can replace these with beneficial compressive stresses. Depending on factors such as shot quality, material, intensity and coverage, shot peening can increase fatigue life by as much as 1000%.

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Deburring isn’t rocket science. However, getting the job done right takes skill and experience.


And it starts with knowing exactly which tumbling media is best for the task at hand.


This article will focus on choosing the right tumbling media and its impact on deburring results, based on the following crucial factors:

  1. Media shape
  2. Media Size
  3. Abrasiveness and composition

The right media, combined with the right machinery, makes all the difference. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for deburring. Contact us to learn more about choosing the right tumbling media and deburring machinery for your specific needs.


Choosing the Best Tumbling Media for Metal Deburring


Media is an abrasive material that helps to remove burrs and break sharp edges from metal parts. It is often, but not always, used in the process of deburring metal. In addition to removing unwanted machining edges, tumbling media can also be used to affect the finish, form radii, polish, clean or degrease metal parts.


Media shape, media size, abrasiveness and composition all play a role in deciding on the best tumbling media to use in deburring.


1. Media shape


Is the part getting deburred, cleaned or a certain finish? How big are the dimensions and features of the part? These questions will assist in determining the shape of the tumbling media.

  • Cones, pyramids and angled tri star media are best for reaching into “hidden” areas. However, by using ones that are not the correct size/composition could lead to breakage and lodging in those areas.
  • Cylindrical media is good for passing through holes, however, an incorrect size can lead again to lodging in the holes or early excessive wear on the media.
  • Round and oval-shaped media are admired for their ability to not lodge, however, they will not reach into tighter areas.

2. Media size


Generally, larger parts require larger media. Larger media provide a rapid cut and a courser surface to larger parts, but can damage smaller, more fragile parts.


However, it’s also important to select a media size that will not get lodged in the part. This mistake could waste valuable time and risk damaging the parts in question.


3. Abrasiveness and Composition



A wide range of materials are used in deburring, including rice and glass beads. However, the main type of media materials used are made of ceramic, plastic, steel, or organic compounds.

  • Ceramic media, due to its high density, can easily grind and polish hard materials, including titanium and steel. Ceramic also has porcelain, which provides a shiny finish. The main flaw of ceramic media is that although it is durable, it will eventually break into smaller pieces. These chips can become problematic if they lodge into small areas or holes on the parts.
  • Plastic media is the preferred choice of media for softer metals, such as aluminum, zinc, and brass. Plastic media is available in low density, high density, and high performance options. Low density is a general media used for deburring, flash removal and burnishing. High density was designed for superior cut and stock removal on both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. High performance media is formulated for use in specific applications of ferrous metals.
  • Steel media is excellent at polishing and burnishing steel parts. Depending on its shape, steel media can also be effective at deburring steel. It has a longer lifespan than the media. However, steel media is also more expensive and takes longer to dry.
  • Organic media includes options such as walnut shells and corn cob granules. Although mostly used to dry parts, organic media is also excellent at providing a high-gloss finish. It is also cheaper than most other tumbling media.

Learn More About Choosing the Right Media to Deburr Metal Parts


All of our metal finishing processes at Latem Industries are proprietary and part specific, and each is managed by our Engineers and Lead Hands. This includes the selection of tumbling media (when needed) and compounds.


We are proud to be an authorized distributor of Washington Mills Media, a US-based manufacturer and worldwide leader in pre-formed ceramic media. We keep a selection of used and new media for sale. We can also place orders for larger quantities and more specific media.


Have a question about metal deburring? We’re here to help. Reach out to our finishing experts now and you’ll get answers within 24 hours.      

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What is Plastisol Coating?

Plastisol coating is a combination of PVC in a plasticizer to make it into a thick, pliable liquid.    An item is then preheated, dipped in the plastisol and then cured.  Once cured, the coating is both sturdy and somewhat flexible.  Here are some of the benefits of plastisol.


Example of items that have plastisol coating




Plastisol protects metals from corrosion and wear from constant use.  This substance serves as a layer to protect against impacts and abrasion.  Tool handles, automotive parts, medical devices and toys are often coated with plastisol for protection.


Vibration Dampening


Plastisol bonded over metal is an excellent sound dampening option.  Fewer  vibrations can enhance worker safety and well-being, as well as reduce noise pollution.


Improve aesthetics


Plastisol can be manufactured to any color.   Different colors can be used for safety, i.e. red plastisol to mark dangerous items, orange traffic cones, yellow safety guarding on equipment, etc.  Color can also be used to identify size. Many manufacturers color code their items to give an easy visual cue for size.




Plastisol can also be used for masking.  Electroplating and powder coating companies often use plastisol to mask an area or thread they do not want to coat.  These companies also coat the racks used in their process with plastisol to protect them from the dipping process, allowing them to get multiple uses per rack.




Plastisol is also a good insulator.   It is commonly used on busbars for electrical insulation.  Copper tubing is often dipped in plastisol.  Plastic coated copper combines the durability and dependability of copper tube with the corrosion protection properties of PVC.  It is often used in LP/Natural gas applications, fuel lines, and water lines.

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Surface Finishing of Steel and Aluminum

What are the two most commonly used metals in the automotive industry?   Steel and aluminum. 


Manufacturers use steel because it is the strongest, most affordable material out there for the application and can be engineered in a lot of different ways to meet the needs of crash safety and the performance of the vehicle.  Aluminum is lighter and is as strong or stronger than steel.


However, both aluminum and steel parts often require some level of surface improvement prior to being used. Surface finishing, or polishing, is essential because it ensures the metal parts are adequately prepared for their intended application. By eliminating imperfections found on the surface of the parts, corrosion is minimized, coating materials are able to adhere properly, sharp edges/burrs are removed as well as improving the overall appearance of the part.


Each material has its own unique surface roughness.  Processing of the part can also affect this surface roughness, as can additional processes performed on the part, such as welding, heat treading, etc.  These factors are all taken into account to determine the optimal process to prepare the metal parts for its final stages, whether that is coating, polishing, texturing or assembly.


Today, let’s focus on coating.


Each type of coating dictates its own surface requirements.  Coatings such as nylon or powder can “break” on a sharp edge; where as a coating such as plastisol can assist in covering up sharp edges.  Regardless of the coating, metal surfaces must be clean to be coated.  Any oils, grease or corrosion will impede the adhesion of the coating to the metal. 


Contaminate Removal


To remove contaminates, oil or grease from the surface, washing is often the solution.  Depending on the geometry of the part and the requirements, there are many options, including hang washing, conveyor washing, barrel washing and ultrasonic cleaning.  Each has its merits, and by using specialty compounds, most to all contaminates, oil, grease and rust can be removed using one of these processes.


Edge Removal/Internal cleaning


If there is an edge or burr that needs to be removed, or an internal area that a spray wash will not reach, deburring is an option.  Tumble deburring, centrifugal deburring or vibratory deburring uses part on part or media and compounds to remove burrs and edges, other imperfections as well as cleaning off any contaminates.  Deburring can also increase the lifespan of a part and increase its overall look.




Removing heat treat or casting scale is the first step when preparing parts for surface coating. Descaling can be accomplished through tumble deburring, vibratory deburring and blasting.  The best process is again determined by the configuration of the part, the descaling required, and the base material.  Laser cut metals experience heat scale on the edges, and powder coating will not adhere to these edges until the part is descaled. 




Texturing the metal gives the coating more surface to adhere to.  Blasting is a very common process to achieve this.  The texture can be minute or quite pronounced. 



Once the proper surface roughness is achieved, the coating can be applied.  Whether the coating is powder, nylon, plastisol, e-coat, chrome plating, or any other common coating, a metal part will need to be prepped before coating.  Latem industries offers every solution mentioned in this article to assist in preparing your metal parts for coating.


For any questions please contact us.

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Centrifugal Barrel Finishing

Centrifugal Barrel Finishing (CBF) is a high-energy finishing method where Centrifugal Barrel Machines are used. These machines are typically made up of two or four individual barrels (or drums) mounted on the outer edge of a turret. The turret is rotated in one direction, causing the barrels to rotate in the opposite direction creating very high G-forces or pressures, as well as considerable media sliding action within the drums. The movement mimics that of a ferris wheel. This action is due to either a Timing Belt, V-Belts or Chain that is connected between the main shaft and the centerline of the 4 barrels. In operation, this turret rotation creates a high centrifugal force. This force compresses the load into a tight mass causing the media and parts to slide against each other removing burrs and creating a superior finish. Short cycle times are realized as a result of the high centrifugal energy being applied to the parts.


Barrel tumblers work well for jobs requiring heavy burr removal. They are also good for burnishing, rapid radiusing of edges, heavy deburring with or without media and tumbling die-castings to break the parts off the runner. They are also a good choice for very heavy loads that will not run well in a vibratory machine where the media alone can sometimes weigh up to 300 lb per cubic foot. When estimating the capacity required, keep in mind that barrel tumblers run best 50% full.


Wet barrel finishing is a batch system for removing excess material or polishing parts, employing water and other agents to form radii, remove burrs, improve surface appearance, polish and clean. Wet barrel finishing works well for processing metal. Wet barrel finishing equipment may sometimes be used in dry tumbling operations.

Dry barrel finishing is a batch system for mass polishing or removing excess material from plastic or metal parts without liquids by tumbling them in a media and compound mixture. This process is valuable for finishing very delicate parts that would be damaged in a wet barrel. A dry system produces a smoother and higher finish. The finished parts have more of a hand-buffed appearance with greater uniformity. The result is something very difficult to do with hand finishing methods.


Although most methods for barrel finishing employ a wet process, dry tumbling has some definite advantages in particular cases. Some factories are not set up to handle large quantities of water, making wet tumbling impossible. Dry tumbling may be used under such circumstances to eliminate hand finishing.

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