How to Minimize Burrs in Your Custom Metal Baskets

March 25, 2015 | Custom Wire Baskets

Automated deburring machines such as this wet belt sander are a very reliable way to remove burrs and sharps from your custom metal baskets for washing sensitive parts.For many of Marlin Steel’s customers, burrs, sharps, and other deformities in custom metal baskets can be a huge problem. These kinds of deformities can increase the risk of damage to sensitive, no-scratch parts as well as causing injury to employees who manually handle the baskets.

How do sharps and burrs in metal baskets cause problems for your delicate parts and employees? Consider the following scenario:

In an ultrasonic cleaning basket, a large sharp or burr is left in the basket without being ground down or otherwise dulled. During the cavitation process of the ultrasonic parts cleaning cycle, the part being cleaned makes contact with this sharpened bit of excess metal. The intense vibration causes tens of thousands of tiny impacts during the process, leaving deep scratches and dents in the surface of the parts.

Worse yet, when an employee grabs the basket with an ungloved hand, a sharp on the handle bites deep into his or her flesh, leaving a gash. The employee, as a reaction to the pain, drops the basket on the ground, damaging both the basket and the part inside from the force of the impact. Now you have a damaged basket, a ruined part, and possibly even a factory safety incident that will result in lost productive time as the worker has to seek basic first aid.

So, now that we know why burrs and sharps can be a problem, how can they be eliminated from your custom wire baskets and other metal forms?

Prevention of Burrs or Sharps in the First Place

Most of the time, burrs and sharps are created as a side effect of a metalworking or shaping process, such as welding or cutting.

For example, with a common welding process, a pool of molten metal is used to bond two other pieces of metal together. The shape of this pool of material can be hard to control, which means lots of burrs and sharps may result from this. The longer it takes to complete a weld, the worse the deformities will be.

Sharps may be left behind when cutting metal if the cut isn’t made perfectly clean and smooth. Creating a smooth cut without leaving a sharp or other deformity takes an overwhelming amount of force, which is difficult to achieve using manual cutting techniques.

Using advanced factory automation can help to prevent burrs and sharps when welding or cutting metal.

For example, Marlin Steel uses a medium frequency direct current (MFDC) welder that can complete welds up to 30 times faster than a standard welder can. By minimizing the weld time, there is less chance for a sharp or burr to form, sparing you from having to perform as many secondary operations.

To reduce the amount of sharps left in cut metal, there are actually a number of different technologies that you can use. One such technology is the use of parts cutting lasers that can cut metal without applying mechanical force. These devices can leave a smooth cut in sheet metal up to 0.6” thick easily.

Factory automation can help prevent the occurrence of sharps and burrs, but there may still be some deformities that still sneak through, which is where deburring operations come into play.

Deburring Metal Forms

Custom sheet metal fabrication that has been deburredTo make sure that the surface finish of a product is flawless, you can use a deburring machine to grind down any irregularities in a metal form.

For example, Marlin Steel’s engineers pass basket materials through a Bütfering Steelmaster Wet Belt Sander during the parts finishing process. This device, which features oscillating brushes and a contact roller, can accommodate parts up to 37” wide, grinding down any excess material until only a smooth, polished finish is left behind.

This type of factory automation is much faster and more reliable than manually trying to grind out defects, as the contract roller and brushes will polish every last inch of whatever metal form is placed in the machine, while a human worker will tend to spot check the metal form, working only on the flaws that he or she can spot with the naked eye.

To remove the smallest flaws, you can electropolish a given basket or metal form, which strips the smallest flaws from the item being processed.

Learn more about deburring services from Marlin Steel on our deburring page today!

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