ActOn Case Studies

Dry Tumbler Machine Application to Mirror Finish Titanium Part

To achieve a good surface finish and a mirror polish on a titanium part, via a dry tumbler machine, it’s important to select the right finishing machine and consumables. A cost and time effective way to produce these results is by finishing the components in a high energy finishing machine with a pre-treated agro (organic) media.

Project Background

One of our clients, who is a major manufacturer in the medical industry, has approached us to find a mass finishing solution to mirror polish titanium components and achieve an Ra of 0.079 μm. At the start of this project, the customer was finishing the parts manually, which was proving to be less effective.

The Solution – Dry Tumbler Machines Using Pre-treated Agro Media

Before going into further details about the finishing process, it’s important to understand what dry tumbling is and what dry tumbler machines can do. This process and machinery allows you to deburr, grind, descale, de-flash, improve surface finish, radius or mirror polish components using only media, and no water or compound. Depending on the final finish and part material you can use a pre-treated agro media such as walnut shell or corn cob, wood media, ceramic or plastic media. In this case study, we will focus on dry tumbler machines using agro media.

Having worked on similar projects, with major manufacturers in the medical industry, we knew the fastest way to achieve the finish was by dry tumbling the titanium parts in the ActOn centrifugal high energy machine using a pre-treated walnut shell

We finished the parts in the CHE technology as this is one of the fastest finishing machines on the market and it delivers superior results in a reduced processing time, in comparison with traditional tumbling.

The pre-vetted walnut shells are hard and fibrous, and are known as ‘soft abrasive’. Also, this media imparts high lustre on components. Being extremely durable, walnut shells are used for the cleaning and polishing of heat-treated components, jewellery, surgical components, watches, etc. We decided to use the pre-treated walnut shells, because it has been proven that in a centrifugal high energy tumbler machine this media can produce a much brighter finish than pre-treated corn cob. Did you know that all our agro media comes in a bovine-free form, which is particularly suitable for industries such as the healthcare one? 

The process benefits include:

  • Significant reduction in surface roughness
  • Increased part cleanliness
  • Removal of surface defects
  • Non-part specific
  • No major tooling required
  • No requirement of fixturing
  • Consistent and repeatable results


  • We achieved, through the dry tumbling process, the mirror finish and an Ra of 0.079 μm, in just 30 minutes
  • Client can now finish the parts in a cost and time effective way
  • Using the CHE finishing tumbler machine, the finishing results are now consistent in comparison with the manual finishing

Before / After


Interested in Finding out More?

To learn more about ActOn’s finishing technology for Medical industry click here. For further information regarding the finishing process contact our technical team.


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