hdpe molding | vibratory tumbling

Cryogenic Deflashing vs. Vibratory Tumbling for Molded Parts


Cryogenic deflashing and vibratory tumbling can both remove flash from molded plastic or rubber parts. Both finishing processes are machine-based and put batches of molded parts inside a drum or barrel, where the parts come in contact with an application-specific media. Beyond these basic similarities, cryogenic deflashing and vibratory tumbling are very different mass finishing processes. For rubber and plastic molders, it’s important to make the right choice to ensure part quality and control costs.

Contact Nitrofreeze® to discuss cryogenic deflashing for your specific application or keep reading to learn why this proven process is better than vibratory tumbling for removing flash from molded parts.

Cryogenic Deflashing for Molded Parts

Cryogenic deflashing uses gaseous nitrogen to cool molded rubber or plastic parts below the polymer’s glass transition temperature (Tg) so that the flash becomes hard, brittle, and easy to remove. The molded parts are then blasted with a specified cryogenic-grade polycarbonate media that comes in different diameters to meet application-specific challenges. This plastic media can be recycled and reused, and it maintains its aggression above 0.015” (0.381 mm).

Cryogenic deflashing is especially efficient at removing flash from cross-holes, blind holes, and other challenging part geometries. This computer-controlled, automated process will not change critical part tolerances, nor will it change a part’s physical or mechanical properties. Because the media that is used is non-abrasive, minimal dust or residues are left behind. By storing the optimal recipe for removing flash, rubber and plastic molders can expect reliable results with every batch.

Vibratory Tumbling for Molded Parts

Vibratory tumbling for molded parts typically uses polyester-based plastic pellets as the media. As the molded parts are tumbled and come into contact with this media, the parts are abraded and mold flash is removed. This plastic media is softer than the ceramic or steel media that is sometimes used in vibratory tumbling; however, the plastic media is generally combined with abrasives such as silica, aluminum oxide, or zirconium. Consequently, abrasive dust is deposited on part surfaces and requires subsequent cleaning.

Vibratory tumbling may also require water and chemical cleaners. Known as wet tumbling, this mass finishing process creates waste that requires disposal or removal. Chemical cleaners also come with a cost. Dry tumbling does not require water or chemicals, but it can raise environmental health and safety concerns. In addition to abrasive dust, workers are exposed to high levels of noise during processing. Non-abrasive media can be used to control dust, but this type of media is significantly more expensive.

Choose Nitrofreeze® for Better Parts Deflashing

Nitrofreeze® Cryogenic Solutions of Worcester, Massachusetts (USA) provides cryogenic deflashing services and sells Cold Jet cryogenic deflashing equipment. Whether you’re a plastic molder or a rubber molder, and whether you prefer to outsource parts deflashing or keep it in-house, talk to the experts at Nitrofreeze® about finding the right solution. The consultation is free of charge, so contact us at the phone number or email below.

(508) 459-7447 x 105 | info@nitrofreeze.com