Cryogenic Deburring for Plastic Parts

Cryogenic Deburring for Plastic Parts

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Cryogenic deburring for plastic parts uses tumbling, freezing, and a cryogenic-grade polycarbonate media to remove burrs left by machining operations. This batch process provides a cost-effective alternative to hand trimming and can reduce labor rates by as much as 50%. Cryogenic deburring also offers an alternative to traditional vibratory and tumbling methods. Plus, unlike other deburring techniques, cryogenic burr removal does not affect the geometry or surface finish of machined plastic parts.          

Why Do Plastic Parts Have Burrs?

During the machining process, cutting tools are used to achieve a part’s desired net shape. Yet these machining operations can also stretch plastics beyond the point where the material can return to its original dimensions. If a machined plastic contains a crack, this stretching may cause fracturing. Burrs left by plastics machining operations can include hairy, stringy, roll-over, flap, cross-hole and intersecting burrs. All of these surface imperfections are good candidates for cryogenic deburring.

How Does Cryogenic Deburring Work?

In the cryogenic deburring process, machined plastic parts are placed in a chamber inside a cryogenic deburring machine. Part quantities can vary from tens to thousands, depending on part size. The parts are cooled to cryogenic temperatures so that the burrs become brittle. The plastic parts are then impacted with non-abrasive polycarbonate media so that surface imperfections are removed quickly and cleanly. This media is sized from 0.015” (smallest) to 0.060” (largest) and can reach inside the most demanding geometries to remove internal machine burrs.

Which Plastics Support Cryogenic Deburring?

Cryogenic deburring for plastic parts is used with many commodity and specialty materials. Polypropylene (PP), polycarbonate (PC), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are examples of commodity plastics that may require burr removal after machining. Specialty polymers such as Delrin®, Teflon®, Tezel®, Torlon®, and PEEK® have exceptional material properties but may also require deburring. In addition to plastics, cryogenic deburring is used with machined metal parts.

Why Use Cryogenic Deburring Instead of Other Burr Removal Methods?

Hand trimming or deburring is labor-intensive and time-consuming, especially with smaller parts. Manual deburring can also introduce inconsistencies between finished parts. Different workers have different skill levels, and the same worker can get different results during the same shift or work week. Plus, cryogenic deburring for plastic parts is especially effective at burr removal from blind holes, through holes, and other recessed part geometries. If these burrs aren’t removed, part misalignments or other problems may occur.

Are There Examples of Cryogenic Deburring for Plastic Parts?

The Nitrofreeze® website provides several case studies about cryogenic deburring for plastic parts. These proof-of-concept examples cover different industries. The machined plastic parts that Nitrofreeze® has deburred include:  

This YouTube video shows how the cryogenic deburring process works and demonstrates the Nitrofreeze® commitment to quality. At our Worcester, Massachusetts (USA) facility, machined plastic parts are carefully inspected both before and after burr removal. As a trusted provider to industries like medical device manufacturing, Nitrofreeze® understands the importance of maintaining part tolerances.

Is Your Machined Plastic Part a Candidate for Cryogenic Deburring?

What’s the best way to remove hard-to-reach burrs from machined plastic parts? Contact the experts at Nitrofreeze® to discuss your requirements. No job is too large or too small, and our standard turnaround time is two days after receipt. If your part is a viable candidate for cryogenic deburring, we can perform sampling to demonstrate our burr removal process. The consultation is free of charge, so send us your part drawings, photos, or actual samples of machined plastic parts.

To get started, contact Nitrofreeze® at the phone number and email listed below.

(508) 459-7447 x109 | info@nitrofreeze.com