Maximizing Efficiency: Tips for Using Cut Wire Abrasives in Surface Finishing.
Surface finishing operations like deburring, radiusing, and polishing require the right abrasive tools to maximize efficiency. Cut wire abrasives are ideal for many finishing applications thanks to their durability and versatility. Follow these tips to make the most of cut wire abrasives in your shop.
Select the Right Grit Size
Cut wire abrasives come in a range of grit sizes designated by color or number. Choosing the right grit is critical.
- Coarse grits (around 30-80 grit) are more aggressive for bulk material removal
- Medium grits (120-180 grit) smooth surfaces after initial finishing
- Fine grits over 220 smooth and polish
Match the grit to your objective. Remove defects and smooth consistently by stepping through progressively finer grits.
Use Proper Pressure
Applying consistent pressure ensures even, effective cutting. Excessive pressure causes premature wear. Insufficient pressure reduces cutting speed.
Aim for 4-6 psi for most hand-held deburring and finishing. Increase pressure for automated finishing where cut wire abrasives can withstand more force without distortion.
Reduce pressure as you step to finer grits for polishing and smoother textures. Around 2-4 psi is often suitable with fine cut wire abrasives.
Consider Speed of Operation
Rotational speed impacts results much like pressure. High speeds generate heat and wear when used carelessly. But higher speeds do enable faster material removal with coarse cut wire abrasives.
Handheld tools usually operate at 15,000-20,000 RPM for deburring and intermediate finishing with medium and fine cut wire abrasives. Slow this to 5,000-10,000 RPM for final smoothing and polishing.
Fixed or automated set-ups allow rotational speeds exceeding 30,000 RPM with coarse cut wire abrasives. Reduce speed for finer grits. Test to optimize parameters.
Select Equipment Wisely
Cut wire abrasives must run true and uniformly contact the workpiece to deliver best performance. Avoid tools with excessive runout.
Extend brush life by using tools with quick-change capability. Replace worn brushes rather than over-dressing wheels repeatedly. Standardize accessories when possible.
Cup and wheel brushes often suit finishing operations best thanks to their durability and cutting ability. RolocTM, tungsten carbide and ceramic are top-performing substrates.
Shank diameter and extension length also play key roles. Avoid overhang exceeding 4x shank diameter to prevent chatter and poor finish quality.
Implementing these best practices will enable you to gain maximum productivity from your surface finishing processes while minimizing costs related to cut wire abrasives. Optimizing pressure, speeds, accessories and more creates noticeable improvements quickly. Work systematically through your operations to identify where adjusting parameters for cut wire abrasives can boost efficiency.