What is deburring? To understand this process, which occurs during the manufacture of metal enclosures (as well as many other products), we must first review the meaning of the word burr. Although it also refers to “a rough humming sound” and “a prickly seed case or flower head that clings to clothing and animal fur,” in this case, the term burr refers to “a rough edge or ridge left on an object (especially of metal) by the action of a tool or machine” (source). So what is deburring? As you might have guessed, deburring is a process during which this unwanted material is removed with specialized tools. To learn more about the benefits of this process and how it works, please scroll down.
What Is Deburring?
Metal must go through an extensive manufacturing process in order to be formed into a serviceable, efficient enclosure. Machining operations commonly employed include grinding, drilling, milling, engraving, and turning. These procedures may leave behind burrs, of which there are three types: Poisson, rollover, and breakout. Removing these unwanted imperfections is a process called deburring.
Purpose of Deburring
Burrs can impact an enclosure’s functionality, longevity, safety, and effectiveness. For example, burrs can cause all of the following issues:
- Fastener and material problems
- Decreased resistance to fractures (due to increased stress in certain areas)
- Shortened fatigue life (stress cycles an object or material can handle before failure)
- Improper seating of fasteners, causing damage to the fastener or assembly
- Material failture due to cracks
- Increased risk of corrosion (possibly due to varying thickness of material)
- Concentrated electrical charge, risk of static discharge
- Unwelcome friction and heat
- Issues with lubrication due to increased wear at interfaces
- Unsafe handling
Deburring is a valuable component of the manufacturing process, because it eliminates the many risks posed by burrs. By cleaning up the edges of the metal after welding, manufacturers prevent dangerous accidents, improve the product’s ability to work properly, and enhance its aesthetic appeal.
Manufacturers use a variety of techniques to provide high-quality, burr-free finishes. Below we have summarized a few of the most common deburring methods.
Manual Deburring: Manual deburring, typically completed by experienced craftsmen, is the most common method due to its customizability, flexibility, and low cost. The manufacturer can immediately inspect the results and make improvements as necessary. However, this process does require a significant time investment.
Electrochemical Deburring: For the mass production of extremely difficult materials, precision work, and hard-to-reach spots, many manufacturers use electrochemical machining (ECM) for deburring. A combination of electricity and a salt or glycol solution dissolves the burrs without impacting the surrounding material.
Thermal Deburring: The thermal energy method (TEM) can also remove hard-to-reach burrs, and it can target burrs on multiple surfaces simultaneously. This fast-paced process requires an explosive gas mixture, which provides thermal energy that burns off burrs.
Mechanical Deburring: You can remove burrs mechanically by either grinding off the burr or rolling the edge into itself. This method provides high-quality finishes in a fraction of the time it takes to deburr by hand.
Purchasing an Enclosure
When purchasing an enclosure, feel free to ask about the deburring process used to create smooth, safe edges.
If you’re on the hunt for a company that can manufacture premium metal enclosures on your behalf, check out American Products Contract Manufacturing. Our high-quality, innovative enclosures enable our customers to assist the telecommunications industry in expanding and improving their network services. We offer NEMA type 1, type 2, type 3, type 3-R, type 3-X, type 4, and type 4-X metal enclosures, and we form these enclosures from aluminum, galvanized steel, carbon steel, and stainless steel to create a rugged and reliable structure. Give us a call at 1-877-736-2228 to learn more, or request a free quote online.