When it comes to finishing surfaces, bead blasting is often an essential aspect of the computer numerical controlled (CNC) machining process. It is a technique that cleans, deburrs, and refines the surface of parts made through CNC machining.
The bead blasting process begins after cutting materials using state-of-the-art CNC machines which ably translate CAD drawings into precise physical outputs. Once the part has been chiseled with these machines according to the specifications required, they undergo numerous other processes depending on the desired finish or appearance. One such finalizing procedure is bead blasting.
Bead blasting employs small glass beads conveyed via compressed air to enhance surfaces. Unlike sandblasting, this method uses softer materials for gentle polishing while maintaining the dimensional stability of the piece.
Step-by-Step Production Procedure
1. The first step requires understanding your material. Not all substances are suitable for bead blasting. For instance, harder elements like stainless steel, copper alloys, and titanium may withstand the impact; however, delicate materials might get damaged during the process.
2. Secondly, identify the level of enhancement needed. This depends on the kind of roughness your workpiece had before blasting. With severe burrs or oxidization stains, you might need multiple rounds of bead blasting.
3. Now, place the section inside the blast cabinet. Experts suggest gloves should be worn during this stage due to safety reasons as flying debris can potentially cause harm.
4. Adjust the pressure based on the hardness of your material. Lower pressures between 60 to 80 PSI typically suffice for most metals without causing distortion. However, the size can reach up to 120 PSI for extra-hard pieces.
5. Lastly, begin the process slowly from regions needing intense cleaning and ensure even distribution across the entire piece for uniform texture.
Understanding Blast Media
In bead blasting operations, selecting the right medium is crucial. The commonly used media is glass beads due to their shape, size, and hardness level, which create a uniformly satin or matte finish on the CNC machined part without damaging the material.
Blast media also comes in various grades based upon grit size– from super fine (325 mesh) to coarse (12 mesh). This choice depends primarily on whether you wish to remove heavy-scale rust or want to achieve a smoother surface finish.
The Benefits of Bead Blasting
When performed correctly, bead blasting offers several advantages over other finishing methods. For one, it expands the service lifespan of grime-prone parts by preventing dirt accumulation, especially when paired with respective protective coatings post-blasting.
Besides this, bead blasting enhances aesthetic appeal while efficiently maintaining dimensional integrity. It ensures an evenly distributed, non-directional texture that can further undergo painting or powder coating.
Safety Measures in Bead Blasting
While bead blasting has numerous benefits, safety measures are vital during operation – machinery must be appropriately maintained, operators need standard personal protective equipment such as goggles and helmets, and appropriate ventilation systems should be implemented.
In conclusion, understanding how bead blasting works is essential for anyone involved in CNC machining, given its widespread application. Whether you’re refining metal components for aerospace applications or crafting delicate jewelry pieces – the use of bead blasting offering both functional and cosmetic enhancements cannot be ignored.