Abrasive Flow Deburring
Abrasive Flow Machining (AFM) is an innovative and very precise method of deburring, smoothing surfaces and producing controlled radii. AFM is particularly useful for difficult to reach internal passages, cavities, and edges.
The AFM process uses a specially formulated, abrasive laden polymer, hydraulically forced over or through areas that require finishing. The unique properties of the polymer (called Media) permit it to flow through passages and conform to the shape that requires finishing.
The typical AFM process (two-way flow) uses two vertically opposed cylinders which extrude an abrasive media back and forth through passages formed by the workpiece and tooling. Abrasive action occurs wherever the media enters and passes through the most restrictive passages. The extrusion pressure is controlled between 7-200 bar (100-3,000 psi), as well as the displacement per stroke and the number of reciprocating cycles.
One-way AFM systems flow the abrasive media through the workpiece in only one direction, allowing the media to exit freely from the part for fast processing, easy cleaning and simple quick-exchange tooling.
AFM is used in a wide range of finishing operations. It can simultaneously process multiple parts or many areas of a single workpiece. Inaccessible areas and complex internal passages can be finished economically and effectively. Automatic AFM systems are capable of handling thousands of parts per day, greatly reducing labor costs by eliminating tedious handwork. By understanding and controlling the process parameters, AFM can be applied to an impressive range of finishing operations that provide uniform, repeatable, predictable results. Anywhere that the media can be forced to flow represents a practical application.
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