Importance of Deburring
Knowing the difficulties and the associated costs, deburring is still an integral part of the production process because of the following reasons:
Burrs prevent the correct fit and assembly of parts
Parts are susceptible to fatigue and cracks due to burrs acting as failure initiation sites
Corrosion easily develops on crevices and burr surfaces
Burrs cause worker and end-user safety hazards
Burrs decrease the aesthetic quality of the part
Edge quality has a significant impact on the form, performance, and life of a product. Burrs and raised edges take a toll on the correct fit and assembly of machine parts. These are critical for precision components used in the aerospace, automotive, and electronics industry. Aside from the correct fit, mating parts such as gears, rollers, and other sliding surfaces, burrs can impinge and damage the parts.
Products with burrs have significantly reduced fatigue life compared to parts with no burrs. Machining processes create residual stresses due to work hardening along the sheared and bent edges. These cause changes in the mechanical properties in these regions. Holes, slots, and notches are features where stress becomes concentrated. Since burrs have a more irregular profile and are usually located at the outermost edges of these features, burrs can act as crack initiation sites.
Thermal and roll-over burrs create crevices that promote localized corrosion. Water, electrolytes, and other corrosive material can accumulate and stagnate in crevices. Also, corrosion can occur when the coating is not applied properly. Raised areas on the surface of the part can have thinner coatings compared to flushed surfaces.
Burrs are also safety hazards since sharp edges can pierce through pressurized lines and electrical cables. Personnel handling burred edges can be harmed as well. Sharp edges are usually chamfered or radiused to prevent unwanted cuts on personnel and equipment.
The best way to prevent burr formation is to change the workpiece with less ductile material. Using less ductile material causes unwanted parts to chip or separate from the main part. However, most of the time, this is not an option especially for applications with strict material requirements. In machining ductile materials, burr formation is almost inevitable. Because of this, non-conventional methods such as chemical etching and laser machining become desirable options. However, these processes have their constraints on limited workpiece thickness and high investment costs.
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