cryogenic deflashing

Cryogenic Deflashing for Molded Rubber and Molded Plastic Parts

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Cryogenic deflashing removes flash, a type of surface defect, from molded rubber or plastic parts. This computer-controlled batch process provides faster cycle times, reduced labor costs, and greater part-to-part consistency than hand trimming. In addition to improving surface quality, cryogenic deflashing protects dimensional tolerances and can remove flash from hard-to-reach areas such as cross-holes, blind-holes, and other difficult geometries. This safe, clean, and cost-effective process won’t leave behind dust or residues and can help molders to extend the functional life of tooling.   

How Does Cryogenic Deflashing Work?

Cryogenic deflashing uses gaseous nitrogen as a cryogen to freeze molded parts while they are tumbled and blasted with plastic media. Batches of molded parts are put in a perforated drum and subjected to very low temperatures. This cryogenic treatment embrittles the flash for ease-of-removal but does not change the physical or mechanical properties of the parts. The blast media, a cryogenic-grade polycarbonate, comes in different lengths and diameters to allow processing without impacting critical tolerances or surface finishes. Except for the removal of flash, parts will look the same as they did before.     

Unlike hand trimming, cryogenic deflashing is a semi-automatic process. An operator loads and unloads the parts basket, but the deflashing process itself is automated. This ensures the consistent removal of mold flash and eliminates variability across workers and shifts. At Nitrofreeze®, we also define the optimal  recipe for removing flash from your molded parts. Because we store this information, we can provide repeatable results with each order that you send to us. To ensure your satisfaction, we perform initial sampling and inspect your parts both before and after deflashing.

What Are Some Examples of Cryogenic Deflashing?

Cryogenic deflashing can be used with molded parts made of many different materials. The polymers and elastomers that Nitrofreeze® works with include acetals, butyl, gum rubber, neoprene, nitrile (NBR, Buna-N), nylon, polycarbonate, polypropylene, polyurethane, silicone, and urethane. Cryogenic deflashing is also used with ABS, Delrin®, DAP, EPDM, liquid crystal polymer, PEEK and Viton®. Composites and aluminum-zinc die cast parts are also candidates.

As this YouTube video from Nitrofreeze® shows, the before and after images for cryogenic deflashing speak for themselves. In addition, the Nitrofreeze® blog provides the following examples of cryogenically deflashed parts.

The blog also contains case studies that describe the added value that Nitrofreeze® provides. For example, when an injection molder asked us to deflash PEEK aerospace parts, we developed proprietary processing parameters, performed initial sampling, and then extrapolated a process for production runs of over a hundred parts per cycle. Thanks to cryogenic deflashing, the molder was able to eliminate scrap and save nine labor hours per week. Compared to hand trimming, cryogenic deflashing cut costs by 83.4%.

A Better Way to Remove Mold Flash

Are you looking for faster, more consistent, and more cost-effective way to remove mold flash? Contact the experts at Nitrofreeze® to discuss your application requirements. If your part is a viable candidate for cryogenic deflashing, we can perform sampling to demonstrate our process. The consultation is free of charge, so send us your part drawings, photos, or actual samples.

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

(508) 459-7447 x 109 | info@nitrofreeze.com