Optimal Media Mix, Part 2 – Understanding Media Consumption

As we established in Part 1 of this seriesidentifying and maintaining an optimal media mix is essential to realizing optimal mass finishing results. Rosler Metal Finishing  understands that our equipment must work in tandem with media to provide you with the desired finishing results.

Understanding how your machine, the work pieces it is finishing, and the selected media will interact is key to delivering an optimal finish each cycle. Doing so requires understanding media consumption factors in order to maintain an optimal media mix.

What are the Factors of Media Consumption?

Media consumption and wear rates depend on ten key parameters. These rates change if even one of the parameters below change. Therefore, quoted wear rates and cut rates are relative values only.

Media usage can only be estimated, the actual consumption can only be determined by the end user under exact process conditions.

Parameters affecting media consumption include:

  1. Type of equipment used – Media performance varies based on the machine type.
    Detail.08
    Disc machine operating with plastic media. 

    For example, barrel, vibrator, disk machine, high energy barrel, and other machines have specific wear rate influences.

  2. Machine size – Larger machines have deeper channels and generate more pressure resulting in faster cut cycles and higher media wear.
  3. Machine settings – The more aggressive the machine settings are – for instance higher amplitude and faster travel – the higher the media wear and cut will be.
  4. Material Type – Ceramic or plastic based media have different wear properties and different bulk densities.
  5. Abrasiveness – Both ceramic and plastic media have different types and amounts of abrasive minerals in them, both of which factor into consumption.
  6. Media size – A larger media of the same composition and shape will cut faster, wear
    Sammelfoto_Schleifkrper_Keramik_Kunststoff_4040
    Media comes in all kinds of shapes & sizes

    faster, and leave a rougher surface than a smaller media.

  7. Media shape – Round shapes including cylinders, ellipses, and cones have less wear than angular shapes including triangles, tri-stars, and pyramids. More edges and corners increase wear rates.
  8. Media load in the machine – Similar to machine size, more media in the machine creates faster wear and cut rates.
  9. Compound type – A compound that develops foam reduces friction and buffers media and parts resulting in lower wear and cut rates. Cutting compounds are generally low foam compounds.
  10. Compound quantity – Higher compound concentrations also reduce friction and reduce wear and cut rates.
  11. Water quantity – High water levels in vibrators and disk machines reduce the wear and cut rates.
  12. Water temperature (for plastic media) – While water temperature does not significantly influence the wear of ceramic media, plastic media is consumed considerably faster at higher water temperatures. This factor should be considered when operating disk machines with water circulation systems or when processing parts with plastic media in high energy barrel machines.

The Rosler Way

Rosler Metal Finishing is committed to building specialized machines and pairing the equipment with the most effective media for your needs to help you find a better way. Contact us today to discuss your unique challenges.

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