Polypropylene is a hard, heat-resistant plastic that supports molding and machining. With its relatively low cost and light weight, this thermoplastic material is injection molded to create products ranging from caps, closures, and cups to dishwasher components and automotive dashboards. In addition, polypropylene is molded and machined into medical products such as orthotics and surgical caddies. With its ability to withstand the high temperatures and pressures of autoclaving, this polymer provides medical device designers with a lightweight, cost-effective, and sterilizable alternative to metals.
Yet, polypropylene’s strengths come with some manufacturing tradeoffs. Because polypropylene has a high melt temperature and a low viscosity, flashing may occur. Mold flash, a surface defect, has numerous causes, but they include excessive melt temperatures with plastics that flow readily. Polypropylene is also prone to the creation of burrs during CNC machining. If high heat from the cutting tool causes the leading edge to melt, the burrs become thick and gummy. Removing a large amount of burrs (or flash) by hand can be time-consuming, especially with products that have complex geometries. Abrasive finishing processes can eliminate manual labor, but they leave behind residues, require cleanups, and may change the surface finish of the part.
Removing Polyproylene Flash and Burrs
Fortunately, there’s a faster, cleaner, and more cost-effective way to deflash and deburr polypropylene plastic parts. Nitrofreeze® of Worcester, Massachusetts provides cryogenic deflashing and cryogenic deburring services that eliminate hand labor and messy abrasives. We also sell this equipment so you can bring cryogenic deflashing and deburring in-house. Our patented, computer-controlled technology is designed to process batches of tens or hundreds of parts all at the same time, including medical parts such as orthotics and surgical caddies. Keeping reading to learn more, or contact us for a quote.
Nitrofreeze® offers three ways to remove flash and burrs from molded and machined polypropylene parts.
- Cryogenic deflashing and deburring uses gaseous nitrogen as a cryogen to freeze your parts while they’re tumbled and blasted with a non-abrasive polycarbonate media. This process can remove flash or burrs from hard-to-reach and tough internal geometries.
- Cryogenic tumble deflashing and deburring removes external flash or burrs through cryogenic freezing and tumbling. Your parts tumble against each other in a cryogenic environment that embrittles surface defects and makes them easy to remove, but without affecting surface finish or part tolerances.
- Dry ice deflashing and deburring uses a high-pressure stream of air to blast dry ice media at a focused area. This process is effectively media-less, and it’s ideal for larger parts or parts with challenging geometries such as internal holes, cross-holes, blind holes, and small slots.
Nitrofreeze® Deflashing and Deburring for Polypropylene Parts
What’s the best way to remove flash from molded or machined polypropylene parts? Contact the experts at Nitrofreeze® to discuss your application. No job is too large or too small, and our standard turnaround time is two days after receipt! If your polypropylene part is a viable candidate, we can perform sampling to demonstrate the process we recommend. We can also save your recipe for future batches of the same part. The consultation is free of charge, so send us your part drawings, photos, or samples to get started.
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