Effective and challenging

Cryogenic deburring - the process

Cryogenic deflashing is a surface processing operation using nitrogen. For this procedure, AW Maschinen- und Anlagentechnik GmbH & Co KG develops and designs efficient and economical blasting systems – especially for the cryogenic deflashing of moulded rubber and plastic parts.

The term “cryogenic” is made up of the Greek and Latin words for “frost” and “generate”. It describes substances, processes and properties in connection with extremely low temperatures – such as in the use of nitrogen. During the cryogenic deburring procedure, also known as deep cold deflashing or LN2 deflashing, the moulded parts are specifically cooled down in a closed system using nitrogen. Using a spinner, the shot is fired at the parts, which are subsequently deflashed. The major kinetic energy that arises as a result makes it possible to machine a larger number of moulded parts and deflash hard-to-reach parts.

Nitrogen deflashing is one of the most efficient and most sophisticated cold deflashing processes. The cryogenic shot blast deflashing machinery from AW achieves temperatures of up to -150°C and keeps the pre-set degree value stable during the entire LN2 deflashing procedure. The result is completely high-quality and precise cryogenic deflashing. We can provide you with deburring technology which is tailored exactly to your individual requirements. Experience the advantages of cryogenic blast deflashing – we are happy to demonstrate our procedure on your moulded parts at our company.

PROCESS PARAMETERS FOR CRYOGENIC BLASTING DEBURRING

Temperature level
(as a rule -20° C to -150° C)

Drum speed
(rolling speed)

Cooling time

Drum time
(with and without blasting)

Dropping speed of the blasting medium
(shot blasting speed)

Grain size of the blasting medium

Blasting time

Separation time

Your component - your material - our solution:

  • Elastomere (rubber)
  • Plastics (thermoplasts and duroplasts)
  • Fibre reinforced plastics
  • Zinc
  • Aluminium / Magnesium
  • Titanium
  • Compound materials
  • Sintered materials
  • Polyurethane
  • Foams

Details about the process of cryogenic deburring:

Refrigerant

As a rule, liquid nitrogen is used as a refrigerant, which boils at -196° C (77 K) in this aggregate condition. The clear, colourless liquid has a density of 807 g/l at the boiling point. The label for liquid nitrogen is LN.

The liquid nitrogen is sprayed onto the components to be processed, via nozzles in the processing area. Due to a temperature sensor in the processing area, and an upstream liquid nitrogen valve, the temperature is regulated in there.

The liquid nitrogen is provided by an appropriately insulated tank. The expansion rate from liquid to gaseous state is 1:691. This means that corresponding excess pressure occurs in the processing area. The use of liquid nitrogen as a refrigerant has proven itself in practice, as it is simple and field tested – and therefore can be provided cheaply.

Theoretically, only the burrs should be cooled with the refrigerant, in order to be able to separate them mechanically. In practice however, the components are completely cooled, particularly in the edge zone. The brittleness of most materials increases with the falling temperature.

Processing area

In the processing area, round and polygonal drums and alternative belt troughs are used. Here, the components are cooled, mixed and blasted.

The mixing serves to feed the refrigerated components in the working direction of the blasting medium. Also, due to the mixing, a relative movement of the components takes place, where abrasion of the burrs also occurs.

The drums are the perforated variants, to transport the abrasion (burr residues) and the blasting medium out of the processing area. At this point, the expansion rate of the liquid nitrogen must also be considered. The gas that develops here must be dissipated. This occurs through the perforated processing drum. In the processing drum, the components are conveyed into an area, via roller rails, during the rotating movement, where the refrigerated components are transported in the working direction of the blasting medium. In doing so, the components are mixed.

At the same time, the components are transported out of the processing drum with these roller rails, after processing, if it is horizontally aligned. With the process parameter of speed of the processing drum, the rolling behaviour and the optimum mixing of the components must be considered. According to the machine structure, it will be blasted into the drum, or blasted through the outer drum wall, made of wire mesh.

Blasting medium

With cryogenic deburring, steel shot or polycarbonate granulate is used as a blasting medium. With steel shot, a granulation of 0.3–0.4mm is used. Due to the high specific weight of 7.85 kg/ dm³, a very high kinetic energy can be achieved here.

Due to the steel abrasion, the parts can be easily soiled, which is why washing is necessary. Furthermore, the wear to the components guiding the blasting medium (screws, blasting wheel etc.) is very high, and wear protection materials such as hard manganese steel are used. However, these also only have a limited service life.
Polycarbonate granulate can be acquired in various forms (Pentacorn, cylindrical, cuboid) and the following granulations are used:

0.3 mm · 0.5 mm · 0.75 mm · 1 mm · 1.5 mm

According to the burr composition and required deburring quality, these different granulates are used. With smaller granulates, a better deburring with less residual burrs can be achieved.

Polycarbonate has a very low moisture absorption, a density of 1.02 kg/dm° and a good low temperature resistance of up to -150° C.

The system wear to the machine is very low with polycarbonate. In the deburring system, residual burrs are cleaned off the revolving granulate in a two step vibration screen. Smaller granulate particles (wear) are also removed here. Impact speed, blasting distance, blasting impact angle and blasting medium throughput, coverage level and exposure time are influences on the blasting result.

Blasting wheel

The acceleration of the blasting medium can occur pneumatically via a gas flow (mostly pressurised air), and mechanically with a blasting wheel. The speed of the blasting wheel determines the kinetic energy of the granulate.