Stainless Steel Shot Jewelry Mix

Stainless Tumbling Media – 8 Benefits of Using Stainless Media in Ball Burnishing

Stainless tumbling media have superior physical properties which make it popular in surface finishing applications. There are many size and shape available to meet different applications.

The most popular shape of stainless tumbling media including ball-cone stainless media, ball shape stainless media, diagonal stainless media, oval balls stainless media and so on. We have recently developed Jewelry mix stainless shot for jewelry application.

Bellow, I will introduce the use of stainless tumbling media and its special properties. These characters make the stainless tumbling media widely used in many applications.

1. Higher Surface Pressure and Longer Media Life

Because stainless steel is not a wearing media. If steel tumbling media operate in right procedure, it can use very long time. The high hardness and toughness make it an excellent item for the various vibratory tumbling application. Besides, there is minimal solid waste generated in the process. The only waste coming from steel media finishing process is parts surface dirt.

The extremely heavy weight of stainless tumbling media gives great pressure on parts of vibratory finishing machine and other mass finishing equipment. When parts tumble and rotate in media mass, the high surface compact works effectively to shorten operation time.

stainless tumbling media wear compared with other media

stainless tumbling media wear compared with other media

2. Stainless Steel Media with Higher Hardness

Inovatec makes heat treatment of Stainless Tumbling media so that lifetime of the media is much longer. Firstly we make media in a certain shape. Then case-hardened and carburized. After that, we temper media under controlled temperature to relieve heat stress.


3. Improve Parts Wear Resistance

The ball burnishing process has similar function of shot peening and shot blasting process. After process with stainless tumbling media, parts will have a longer life and better wear resistance. This is because stainless tumbling media exerts high compression stress on parts surface.

4. Improve Surface Parts Condition 

The parts come from machining or casting have defects. For example porosity on parts surface, sharp edge, irregularities, flattened surface and so on.  With ball burnishing with stainless tumbling media, surface defects are “roll-over” and create a high-quality surface contour.

The improved surface is very important for the electroplating process.

Before After stainless tumbling media ball burnishing process

Before After stainless tumbling media ball burnishing process

5. Stainless Steel Media Can Work in Harsh Condition

When the metal has thick oxide layer after heat treatment, it needs strong chemical to remove. However, most tumbling media cannot resist those strong chemicals without a change in performance. But stainless steel tumbling media work well in harsh condition.

Under the strong acidic condition, stainless tumbling media can reduce processing time largely. This is true especially for chemical pH value under 3.0 and above 12.0.

6. Save Chemical Using 

Because stainless steel chemical properties are very stable. Thus it resists to most acidic chemicals. As a result, you don’t need to find a special chemical suit to stainless media. Rather, lower cost chemical that burnishes metal surface can work well. In addition, because of corrosion-resistance character, stainless tumbling media no need rust inhibitor.

7. Low Maintenance Required

Carbon steel tumbling media need much cost for storage chemicals, maintenance and labor care after processing. In contrast, steel tumbling media save those unnecessary work.

After processing, you only need to flush away the chemicals and keep it in clean water and stay overnight. Even though stainless tumbling media price is higher than carbon steel media. In long run, total operation and maintenance add up cost will be much lower.

8. Cost Saving in Long Term

Steel Tumbling Media is rather an investment because it can use more than 10 years.

2 replies
  1. Taylor Bishop
    Taylor Bishop says:

    Thanks for the interesting read about stainless media for ball burnishing. I didn’t know that ball burnishing could really help create a good surface contour quality. I’m a bit interested to see this process in action and to visually see the steel change throughout the process. After seeing the before and after picture, I think it could be fun to see the evolution of the steel over time.

    • Massfinisher
      Massfinisher says:

      Hi Taylor, it is hard to see the steel surface change inside machine bowl. But you can collect several pieces every 5-10 minutes so you can make the comparison. You can also send your parts to me to carry out the laboratory trial and see the performance yourself.


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