A tumble machine is a device used for processing various materials. Its working principle is simple: the parts and media are tossed around in a centrifugal force. The result is a powder or paste. The media used in the process can be dry or wet, and there are some differences between the two.
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The earliest tumbling operations did not use water, but sand. Sand provides an exceptional amount of surface area for abrasive action. It also prevents dirty residue from embedding into the parts. Later, organic materials, such as corn cob granules and walnut grit, were used. These materials are environmentally friendly, and they can be used as abrasive carriers.
When selecting a tumble machine, consider the material it is going to process. Metal parts require more aggressive treatment. A high-energy tumbler will polish metal parts the fastest. These machines contain barrels that contain a media that creates a centrifugal force. Parts are placed inside the barrels, which are secured with a cam locking mechanism.
The type of media used in the tumbler will determine the speed and quality of the finish. For instance, media with a fine finish needs more liquid, while a coarse finish requires less. Media used in a metal tumbler should be at 80-90 percent of their recommended speed.