ActOn Case Study: Dry Tumbling Application to Mirror Finish Titanium Part

Case Study: Dry Tumbling Application to Mirror Finish Titanium Part

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Posted on March 26, 2020 by

In this case study we talk about the benefits of dry tumbling to achieve a mirror polished finish on titanium medical components. Read more here...

To achieve a good surface finish and a mirror polish on a titanium part, via a dry tumbling application, 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 a less effective way.


Dry Tumbling Application Using Pre-treated Agro Media


Before going into further details about the finishing process, it’s important to understand what dry tumbling is. This process 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 tumbling 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 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


The pre-treated 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 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? You can request a free trial today.


The result


  • 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 machine the finishing results are now consistent in comparison with the manual finishing.

dry tumbling application









If you would like to find out more information regarding our finishing expertise for the Medical Industry please click here, or contact our technical team at . To learn more about ActOn’s high energy finishing technology please click here.

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