Cryogenic Deburring HDPE Parts


CNC Machining HDPE Parts


HDPE stands for High-Density Polyethylene. It is a type of thermoplastic polymer that is widely
used in various applications due to its excellent properties and versatility. HDPE is made from
petroleum through a polymerization process and is classified as a polyethylene material.
Key characteristics and features of HDPE include:
High Density: HDPE has a high density compared to other polyethylene materials, which
gives it increased stiffness, strength, and durability.
Chemical Resistance: HDPE exhibits excellent resistance to a wide range of chemicals,
making it suitable for applications where exposure to corrosive substances is a concern.
Lightweight: Despite its high density, HDPE is relatively lightweight, making it a popular
choice for applications where weight is a consideration, such as in plastic bottles or
Moisture Resistance: The material has low water absorption, making it highly resistant to
moisture and water-based solutions.
Impact Resistance: HDPE is known for its toughness and ability to withstand impact,
making it suitable for use in products that need to withstand rough handling or outdoor
Food-Grade: It is approved for use in food contact applications, as it does not leach
harmful chemicals into food products.
Recyclable: It is recyclable, and its recycling code is number 2. This makes it an
environmentally friendly choice for various applications.
HDPE finds applications in a wide range of industries, including:
● Packaging: HDPE is commonly used to make bottles, containers, and packaging films for
food, beverages, household chemicals, and personal care products.
● Industrial and Chemical Containers: HDPE containers are used to store and transport
various chemicals, lubricants, and hazardous substances safely.
● Automotive Parts: HDPE is used in automotive components like fuel tanks, bumper
beams, and interior trim parts.
Overall, HDPE is a popular material choice in various industries due to its desirable properties,
cost-effectiveness, and environmental advantages.

CNC Machining HDPE

HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) is a relatively easy material to CNC machine, thanks to its
low melting point and good machinability. CNC machining of HDPE involves using computer-controlled machines to remove material and create the desired shape. Here's a general overview of how HDPE is CNC machined:
Design and CAD/CAM Preparation: The first step is to create a 3D model of the part you
want to machine using computer-aided design (CAD) software. The CAD model is then
converted into machine instructions using computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)
software. CAM software generates the toolpaths and cutting instructions required for the
CNC machine to shape the HDPE accurately.
Material Selection: HDPE is available in various forms, such as sheets, blocks, or rods.
The appropriate form is selected based on the size and geometry of the part to be
Fixturing: The HDPE material is securely clamped or fixed onto the CNC machine's
worktable to ensure it remains stable during the machining process. Proper fixturing is
essential to prevent vibrations or movement that could affect the accuracy of the finished
Tool Selection: Choosing the right cutting tools is crucial for successful HDPE CNC
machining. High-speed steel (HSS) or carbide tools are commonly used due to their
sharpness and ability to maintain cutting edges at high speeds.
Cutting Parameters: Proper selection of cutting speed, feed rate, and depth of cut is
important. HDPE machines well with high spindle speeds and relatively high feed rates.
The soft nature of HDPE allows for rapid material removal.
Machining: The CNC machine follows the instructions from the CAM software to cut
and shape the HDPE material. The cutting tool rotates at high speeds and moves along
multiple axes to precisely remove material and create the desired part.
Cooling and Chip Management: While HDPE generates less heat compared to some other
materials during CNC machining, using coolants or cutting fluids can help improve tool
life and chip evacuation.
Finishing: Once the main machining is complete, additional finishing processes like
sanding, polishing, or deburring may be performed to achieve the desired surface quality
and remove any sharp edges.
Inspection: The finished part is inspected to ensure it meets the specified dimensions and
HDPE’s excellent machinability, low cost, and versatility make it a popular choice for CNC
machining in various industries, including packaging, automotive, and consumer goods. With the right tooling and cutting parameters, CNC machining can be used to produce precise and
complex parts from HDPE efficiently.

HDPE Burrs

Burrs can be created when machining HDPE, just like with many other materials. Burrs are tiny
unwanted projections that occur along the edges of a machined part as a result of the cutting
process. They are formed when the cutting tool pushes through the material, and they can be
sharp and jagged.
The formation of burrs in HDPE during CNC machining can be influenced by several factors,
including the cutting tool type, feed rate, cutting speed, and tool path strategies. Although HDPE
is relatively easy to machine and has good machinability, burr formation is still possible.
To minimize burr formation when machining HDPE, the following measures can be taken:
Tool Selection: Choosing sharp and high-quality cutting tools, such as carbide or high-
speed steel (HSS) tools, can help reduce burr formation. Dull or worn-out tools are more
likely to create burrs.
Cutting Parameters: Proper selection of cutting speed, feed rate, and depth of cut is
crucial. Using higher cutting speeds with lower feed rates can help reduce burr size and
improve surface finish.
Toolpath Strategies: Using appropriate toolpath strategies, such as climb milling instead
of conventional milling, can also impact burr formation. Climb milling tends to generate
smaller and more manageable burrs.
Cooling and Chip Management: While HDPE generates less heat compared to some other
materials during CNC machining, using coolants or cutting fluids can help improve tool
life and chip evacuation. Proper chip evacuation is important to prevent the accumulation
of chips and reduce burr formation.
Post-Machining Operations: After CNC machining, additional finishing steps like
deburring, sanding, or polishing can be employed to remove any remaining burrs and
achieve the desired surface quality.
While HDPE is generally less prone to burr formation compared to some other materials, taking
the necessary precautions during the machining process can help ensure that the finished parts
have clean edges and meet the desired specifications.

Cryogenic Deburring HDPE

HDPE parts can be cryogenically deburred. Cryogenic deburring is a process that involves exposing the machined components to extremely low temperatures to remove burrs and improve surface finish.
In the cryogenic deburring process, the HDPE parts are subjected to liquid nitrogen in its gaseous form, which has a very low temperature. The parts are then tumbled or blasted with a media, such as plastic beads, to break off the brittle flash. The cryogenic media helps to efficiently remove the burrs while minimizing damage to the part itself.
Cryogenic deburring parts offers several advantages, including:
Burr removal: Cryogenic deburring can effectively remove burrs from Delrin
components, including small or complex geometries that are challenging to deburr
using traditional methods.
Preservation of material properties: Cryogenic deburring is a non-destructive process
that does not affect the mechanical or dimensional properties of Delrin. It helps
preserve the material’s original characteristics.
Improved surface finish: Cryogenic deburring can also improve the surface finish of
the machined Delrin components, providing a smoother and more aesthetically
pleasing appearance.
It’s important to note that while HDPE can be cryogenically deburred, the effectiveness of the process may depend on the specific design, size, and complexity of the component, as well as the severity of the burrs. Therefore, it’s recommended to consult with a cryogenic deburring service provider or conduct testing to determine the suitability and effectiveness of cryogenic deburring for your specific HDPE parts.

Want to send in your HDPE parts for a no-cost deburring evaluation? Learn more
by contacting us at 508.459.7447×105 or email us at