BRM's Flexible Honing, Surface Finishing, and Deburring Blog

BRM's Flexible Honing, Surface Finishing, and Deburring Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about how to solve difficult finishing problems. For over 50 years, Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) has helped customers use brushing technology to clean, rebuild, and resurface components ranging from engine cylinders to brake rotors to flywheels to firearms. BRM's Blog on CR4 provides real-world examples of how flex hones and wire brushes work. It also evaluates related technologies and invites questions from the community.

Diamond Tools for Surface Finishing and Deburring

Posted August 10, 2015 3:32 PM by Brush Research

Are you looking for diamond tools that can deburr harder materials and improve surface finish? As a full-line supplier of surface finishing technologies, Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) provides diamond honing tools, diamond wheel brushes, and miniature diamond deburring brushes to leading manufacturers and a global network of distributors. BRM keeps flexible hones and brush tools in stock, ships products within 24 hours, and can offer expert advice. Which type of diamond tool do you need?

Diamond Flex-Hone® Tools

Diamond Flex-Hone® tools are designed for deburring, edge blending, and surface finishing the bores of cylinders made of harder materials. Applications include carbide wear rings, medical parts, aerospace components, chromed and plated bores, EDM recast layers, and ceramic cylinders. BRM's diamond honing tools are also great for MMX aluminum alloys, high nickel stainless steels, and heat-treated steels.

Diamond Flex-Hone® tools use premium-coated diamond abrasive, which aids in heat dissipation and bond retention. Their resin-bond crystals also have high friability for self-sharpening edges. These diamond hones are also free-cutting, have rapid cut rates, and impart an optimal surface finish. Choose BRM diamond tools in standard diameters of 4mm to 20mm, and in three different mesh sizes.

NamPower Diamond Wheel Brushes

NamPower diamond wheels are designed to polish, finish, and produce edge radii on parts made of harder materials such as CBN, ceramic, carbide, diamond, hardened tool steel, and glass. Applications include polishing the flute reliefs on high-speed steel drills, end mills, and reamers. NamPower diamond wheels are also used to deburr, finish, and produce the proper edge radius on carbide inserts.

With their composite hub construction, NamPower diamond abrasive wheels have a dense, uniform fill pattern that puts more cutting points at the point-of-attack. Available in 600-mesh, this brushing tool's diamond abrasive filaments provide the perfect combination of cutting and finishing power. BRM supplies NamPower wheels in three diameters: 100mm (4 inches), 150mm (6 inches) and 200mm (8 inches).

Miniature Diamond Deburring Brushes

BRM's miniature diamond deburring brushes prove that deburring small holes doesn't have to a big problem in industries such as medical device manufacturing. These diamond deburring tools are also ideal for electronic and aerospace components, precision tool and die applications, and for surface finishing and deburring parts made of ceramic or glass.

Designed for use with harder materials, BRM's miniature diamond brushing tools are available for both through-holes (Series 81-AD) and blind-holes (Series 85-AD). They're available in 800-mesh and used in a slightly oversized condition. For example, a miniature diamond deburring brush for a hole with a diameter of 0.032" has a brush diameter of 0.035".

Learn More about Diamond Tools at WESTEC

From September 15 to 17, the BRM Technical Team will be at WESTEC 2015 in our hometown of Los Angeles, California (USA). Will you be at WESTEC, too? Visit the BRM booth (#2309) for answers to your technical questions about surface finishing and deburring, and to learn more about diamond Flex-Hone® tools, NamPower diamond wheel brushes, and miniature diamond deburring tools.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Official Blog.

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Flexible Honing for Engine Cylinders

Posted July 20, 2015 3:57 PM by Brush Research

Flexible honing for engine cylinders imparts a plateau finish that optimizes lubrication and reduces friction and wear. Flexible cylinder honing also removes cut, torn, and folded metal that can interfere with the operation of mechanical components such as piston rings. By removing burrs, imparting a series of oil-retaining grooves, and reducing raised areas to a uniform height, BRM Flex-Hone® tools impart the ideal surface finish. Two automotive application guides explain the benefits of flexible cylinder honing for the automotive aftermarket.

Flexible Honing for Engine Preparation

Kart racers drive small, four-wheeled vehicles that can achieve speeds in excess of 150 mph. Two-cycle kart engines are available, but many racers prefer four-cycle powerplants like the Briggs & Stratton L Head and OHV Animal. When Jimmy Glenn, a championship engine builder and technical inspector for National Karting Events, prepares a Briggs & Stratton engine for kart racing, he uses Flex-Hone® tools for cylinder honing. As Glenn explains in the 4-Cycle Kart Engines application guide, flexible honing is "integral" to kart engine preparation. "Always use the premiere BRM hones," he adds.

With both the Briggs & Stratton L Head engine and the OHV Animal, Glenn uses a 320-grit aluminum oxide Flex-Hone® to impart a final finish to the aluminum bores. "For rebuilds on either engine," he explains, "a quick honing with the appropriate grit will bring the cylinder back into optimum condition for a new piston/ring set." The BRM application guide describes Jimmy's Glenn's tips and techniques, and also explains how the author of "Building a Race Ready 5HP Briggs" uses ball hones with carburetor bores, valve guides, and other engine parts.

Flexible Honing for Engine Remanufacturing

Remanufactured engines aren't just re-machined. They're restored to precise mechanical tolerances and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications. For engine remanufacturers like RMP Powertrain Solutions, a division of the Holman Automotive Group, imparting the ideal surface finish is essential. Cylinder walls with cut, torn and folded metal can prevent proper piston ring and sealing - and even cause engine failure. Flexible honing removes surface imperfections, and imparts a plateau finish for optimum lubrication.

RMP uses a rigid honing machine after engine cylinders are bored, but trusts BRM Flex-Hone® technology to impart the final surface finish. As the Automotive Engine Rebuilder application guide explains, the New Jersey-based engine remanufacturer "has been able to maintain high quality standards at minimal cost". By stroking each cylinder just a few times, operators reportedly finish as many as 60 engines per Flex-Hone® tool. For RMP's customers, the benefits include faster break-in times and reduced blow-by.

Learn More about Flexible Honing for Automotive Engines

Would you like to learn more about flexible honing for engine rebuilds? From case studies and brochures to how-to-videos and technical books, BRM provides the information you need in a variety of formats. Visit our website to find these and other resources. As a full-line supplier of surface finishing and deburring solutions, we have the tools, technology, and application experience that you need to make your next engine rebuild a success.

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Cross-Hole Deburring Tips and Techniques

Posted April 06, 2015 12:41 PM by Brush Research

Cross-hole deburring removes the burrs that are created when manufacturers and machinists cross-drill intersecting holes on metal parts. Removing these ragged edges, raised areas, particles, protrusions, and shavings improves part function and quality. Because metal burrs can cause part misalignments, cross-hole deburrring supports the smooth operation of machinery and mechanical systems. Burr removal also promotes plant safety and production efficiency. Operators who handle machined parts or blanks with burrs risk injury, and poor surface finish quality on machine components can impede production.

What's the best way to remove burrs from cross-drilled holes then? First, you'll need to select the right tool for the job. Next, you'll need to follow suggested operating parameters and best practices.

Choose the Right Cross-Hole Deburring Tool for the Job

The Flex-Hone tool from Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) is a flexible, resilient honing tool that removes burrs from cross-drilled holes and improves surface finish at the same time. Known also as a ball hone, the BRM Flex-Hone features abrasive globules that are permanently laminated to flexible nylon filaments. These abrasive globules or balls provide a soft cutting action that removes burrs from cylinder walls while leaving the base metal undisturbed.

BRM supplies Flex-Hone tools in 8 different abrasive types and 11 different options in diameters from 4-mm to 36" for use with a wide variety of base materials and surface finish requirements. The Flex-Hone Resource Guide explains how to select the right cross-hole deburring tool for your application, and also provides suggested operating parameters. Flexible honing does not require specialized training, but it's important to follow best practices for optimal results.

Follow Best Practices for Deburring Cross-Drilled Holes

Flexible hones have a wire stem for use with most any rotating spindle. With CNC equipment, the tool is secured with a Jacobs-style collet that's clamped directly to the stem wire. BRM's cross-hole deburring tools are used also in lathes, mills, drill presses, and electric hand drills. As this YouTube video shows, an operator can easily chuck a Flex-Hone into a standard 3/8" or 1/2" drill motor on cordless drill. As the Flex-Hone Resource Guide explains, power requirements are a function of horsepower. Stroke rate is a function of flexible hone diameter, stroke, and cross-hatch angle specification (if any).

When deburring cross-drilled holes with the Flex-Hone, BRM recommends that you first stroke and rotate the tool in a clockwise direction. Then remove the cylinder hone from the bore, reverse the spindle, and stroke and rotate in a clockwise direction. This promotes a more symmetrical deburring pattern and prevents the burr from folding back into the cross-hole. During cross-hole deburring, and with any Flex-Hone operation (such as cylinder wall deglazing), always use a lubricant or good-quality honing oil. This prevents tool loading, and ensures the exposure of fresh cutting particles.

Learn More About Deburring at PMTS 2015

Are you headed to the Precision Machine Technology Show (PMTS 2015) in Columbus, Ohio later this month? From April 21 to April 23, the BRM Technical team will be in Booth #1223 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. You can also learn about solving deburring challenges at this PTMS Educational Session on Tuesday, April 21 from 8:15 to 9:15 AM. BRM's Jonathan Borden will provide a presentation you won't want to miss, so be sure to add this session to your show planner.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone Blog.

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Diamond Abrasive Wheel Brushes for Harder Materials

Posted March 30, 2015 2:10 PM by Brush Research

Wheel brushes are wheel-shaped brushing tools that remove burrs and improve the surface finish of machined parts. These power brushes are also used for outer diameter (OD) applications such as cleaning, polishing, and edge radiusing. As a full-line supplier of surface finishing solutions, Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) provides many different types of wheel brushes, including NamPower nylon abrasive wheels.

NamPower composite hub nylon abrasive diamond wheel brushes are high-performance brush tools with abrasive-impregnated nylon filaments. These wheel brushes also feature virtually indestructible composite hubs to support their use with equipment and machinery. When selecting a NamPower wheel brush, the type of abrasive is important to consider. Typically, this is a function of the workpiece's base material.

Base Materials and Surface Finishing Applications

NamPower composite hub wheel brushes are available in different abrasive types. NamPower wheels with silicon carbide abrasive are used to deburr and surface finish parts made of industrial metals such as aluminum and steel. NamPower wheel brushes with diamond abrasive filaments are recommended for deburring, surface finishing, and edge radiusing harder materials such as carbide, ceramic, cubic boron nitride (CBN), and glass.

Applications for NamPower diamond wheels include deburring gears made of hardened tool steels, and polishing the flute reliefs on drills, end mills, and reamers made of high-speed steels (HSS) or carbide. With end mills and reamers, a polished flue relief enhances chip removal and promotes better finishes and longer tool life. With carbide inserts, edge radiusing prevents fracturing and premature insert wear. NamPower diamond wheels are also used with plasma-sprayed and nitride-coated surfaces.

Diamond Wheel Brush Specifications

BRM's NamPower nylon abrasive wheel brushes with black diamond filaments are available in three diameters: 100 mm (4 in), 150 mm (6 in), and 200 mm (8 in). The 150 mm and 200 mm diameter wheel brushes have face widths of either 10 mm or 15 mm. The 100 mm diamond wheels come with either a 5 mm or 10 mm face width to accommodate a variety of flue relief sizes. All BRM diamond abrasive wheel brushes come standard in 600 mesh, which provides just the right amount of cutting action.

The relationship between brush diameter and arbor hole size is also important to consider. NamPower composite hub diamond wheels with a diameter of 100 mm have a 20 mm arbor hole. NamPower diamond wheel brushes with diameters of 150 mm or 200 mm have a 3.25-in. arbor hole. BRM produces machined arbor adapters in a variety of sizes, too. These adapters are designed to offer increased brush support, less brush vibration, and longer brush life.

Cost-Effective, High-Performance Diamond Wheels

NamPower diamond abrasive wheel brushes cost significantly less than other diamond wheels on the market, and combine high-performance with greater value for dependable results. These composite hub wheels also feature virtually indestructible cores and have a dense, uniform fill pattern that puts more cutting points at the point of attack. Download the brochure to learn more about NamPower diamond wheels, or contact BRM today.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone Blog.

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Automated Deburring and Finishing with Mini Abrasive Disc Brushes

Posted February 16, 2015 4:59 PM by Brush Research

Does your manufacturing facility or machine shop use grinders, polishing heads, chamfering tools, hand deburring tools, or other equipment for secondary operations? Would your machining center operators like to achieve outer diameter (OD) surface finishing and deburring at the same time? Are you ready to explore automated finishing to accelerate production, improve quality, ensure consistency, and reduce off-line finishing times and costs?

HOUSTEX 2015 is the place to learn about innovative manufacturing technologies, and Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) is the place to find surface finishing solutions. Visit BRM in Booth #242 and learn about our NamPower family of products for OD applications such as surface preparation, burr and rust removal, edge radiusing, spot finishing, and polishing. NamPower technology includes abrasive disc brushes, abrasive hex-drive tools, composite hub wheel brushes and accessories for in-line operations.

Brush Sizes and Styles

NamPower abrasive disc brushes come in a range of sizes, and are available in both larger and smaller diameters. Larger abrasive disc brushes are recommended for some OD applications, but mini disc brushes offer even greater versatility in harder-to-reach areas. BRM's miniature brushing tools are also ideal for smaller applications and planetary head mountings. Supplied in 50-mm, 60-mm, and 80-mm diameters, NamPower small-diameter abrasive disc brushes come in two styles: dot and turbine.

Dot style abrasive nylon brushes are ideal for light deburring and edge blending. Turbine brushes are recommended for medium-duty and heavy-duty burr removal. Both types of small-diameter NamPower abrasive discs support short cycle times and long brush tool life. Dot style disc brushes provide greater flexibility and support entry into small holes and spaces with ease. Turbine style disc brushes feature a high-density fill for fast cutting.

Abrasive Types and Grit Sizes

NamPower small-diameter nylon abrasive disc brushes feature a unique combination of white ceramic and silicon carbide abrasive for achieving maximum burr removal rates and an optimum surface finish at the same time. Standard grit sizes of 80, 120, 180, and 320 are available, and BRM also supplies custom mini disc brushes. Custom nylon abrasive brushing tools feature a combination of blue ceramic and silicon carbide, or blue ceramic only.

The abrasive nylon filaments on all NamPower mini disc brushes conform closely to part contours, wiping and filing across part edges and surfaces. Their linear construction puts sharp, new abrasive grains into constant contact with the work surface and provides consistent deburring action throughout the length of the bristles. Compared to standard ceramic abrasive, BRM's combination of white ceramic and silicon carbide provides excellent value and increased tool life.

Sturdy Base and Flow-Through Tool Holder

NamPower small-diameter nylon abrasive disc brushes are manufactured with a molded thermoplastic base that provides greater rigidity and stability with less vibration. The result is a better balanced brush tool with improved performance and longer tool life. BRM also supplies flow-through tool holders that allow coolant to flow from the brush center instead of supplying lubricant from only the outside. This lets the brush tool cut at greater depths while dramatically reducing heat generation.

Small-diameter NamPower abrasive disc brushes feature a flow-through tool holder with a 16-mm shank. Available for both dot style and turbine style mini disc brushes, these special tool holders are heat-treated, precision ground, and PVD coated for improved corrosion resistance. As with the tool holders for larger diameter NamPower abrasive disc brushes, coolant flows through from the brush center, resulting in better lubricant dispersion.

Visit BRM at HOUSTEX 2015 (Booth #242)

From February 24 to 26, BRM's technical specialists will be on-hand to answer your questions about NamPower small-diameter abrasive nylon disc brushes at HOUSTEX 2015. Visit BRM in Booth #242 in the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. BRM's technical team will also welcome your questions about other NamPower products, Flex-Hone® tools, and BRM's full line of industrial brushes.

Can't make HOUSTEX 2015? For more information about NamPower small-diameter nylon abrasive disc brushes, contact us today.

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