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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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Automated Deburring for Chamfered Edges

Posted August 03, 2015 3:06 PM by Brush Research

Milling cutters create chamfered edges by removing precise amounts of material. As cutting tools wear, however, they may leave small burrs behind. Manual deburring is time-consuming, but failure to remove surface imperfections can be expensive. Customers may reject poorly-machined parts, and burrs can cause part misalignments and other mechanical problems.

For Orange Vise Co., a machine shop and machine tool manufacturer in Union City, California, automated deburring eliminated off-line operations, improved surface quality, and ensured a burr-free finish. As Eric Sun, the founder of Orange Vise, explains in the July digital edition of Manufacturing Engineering, NamPower technology from Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) was the right choice.

Quality Meets Efficiency

Before Orange Vise began using NamPower brushing tools, an employee would inspect the chamfered edges on each part and then remove any burrs by hand. Today, Orange Vise removes burrs by using NamPower nylon abrasive brushes with its automated equipment. Thanks to NamPower technology, the company's CNC operators can be sure that each milled part has a consistent, high-quality surface finish.

"It's really desirable to get the finishing operations done straight out of the machine," Sun explains. For starters, he says, "it's more efficient to let the machine do everything inline, so that the part comes out ready to wash and box for delivery to the customer." Some manufacturers prefer to use their equipment for parts production, he adds, but automated deburring fills "unutilized machining hours".

Wire Brushes vs. Nylon Abrasive Brushes

Orange Vise could have automated its deburring operations by using wire brushes instead of nylon abrasive brushes, but NamPower technology offers important advantages. "A problem with wire brushes," Sun says, "is that the bristles tend to shoot out". With contoured parts that contain chamfered edges, the wire filaments may stay "permanently deformed", he adds.

By contrast, NamPower nylon abrasive brushes work like flexible files as they conform to workpiece coutours and wipe across chamfered edges. NamPower abrasive disc brushes also produce maximum burr removal rates and provide an optimum surface finish at the same time. With their unique combination of ceramic and silicon carbide abrasive, these nylon abrasive brushing are long-lasting, too.

Dot Style or Turbine Style?

Orange Vise could have chosen other nylon abrasive brushing tools, but selected NamPower technology from BRM. These high-performance surface finishing and deburring tools are easy to integrate with production machinery. They also work well with a variety of base materials. Examples include cast iron, mild steel, and ductile iron; stainless and alloy steels, and titanium and high nickel alloys.

NamPower abrasive disc brushes come in two different styles: dot and turbine. Orange Vise uses dot-style brushes to deburr highly contoured workpieces and turbine-style brushes for flatter workpieces that require medium-to-heavy deburring. Which type of NamPower disc brush is right for your surface finishing and deburring application? Download the NamPower Resource Guide and find out.

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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Which Wire Wheel Brush Do You Need?

Posted July 13, 2015 12:43 PM by Brush Research

Wire wheel brushes are wheel-shaped brushing tools with sturdy hubs and metal wire filaments. They are used for cutting, cleaning, deburring, edge blending, polishing, and surface finishing. A type of power brush, wire wheels are motor-driven and may feature an arbor hole or keyway that supports their use with grinding equipment or CNC machinery. Different types of wire wheel brushes are available, but tool selection begins with an understanding of the basic wire wheel types: crimped and knotted. Manufacturers also need to consider brush tool specifications and their own application requirements.

Crimped Wire Wheels for Uniform Brushing

Crimped wire wheel brushes feature carbon steel, stainless steel, or brass filaments that look wavy, bent, or pinched. Crimping separates these metal filaments from each other and helps to reduce the wire fatigue and wire breakage that's caused by flexing, bending, and vibrations. Crimped wheels that are made with oil-tempered wire may cost more, but they typically last longer. During normal wheel brush use, small pieces of wire break off and leave fresh cutting edges exposed. Crimps help to create cleaner breaks. They also support consistent, uniform brushing since the tool's cutting action is at the filament tips.

Most crimped wire wheels feature a 2" arbor hole that supports their use with shafts ranging from 1/2" to 1". These wire wheel brushes are available in a range of sizes, but 6 and 8 inches are the most common diameters. The base material of the part or workpiece determines which filament type to select, and filament or wire size is a function of finishing requirements. Face width is also important to consider, and manufacturers can choose narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide. Narrower brush faces are ideal for corners, crevices, and irregular surfaces. Wider brush faces provide consistent brushing over larger areas.

Knotted Wire Wheels for Aggressive Brushing

Knotted wire wheel brushes feature knots or twists of metal wire, typically carbon steel or stainless steel. They support aggressive cutting and absorb bending and vibrations that can cause wire fatigue. Standard or twisted tuft brushes are twisted for about two-thirds of the filament length. The remaining third is flared slightly. With larger wire sizes and applications that require heavier brushing action, the knots may be twisted for their entire length. These knotted wire wheel brushes are known as cable twists, and are often used in oilfields and with oil pipelines.

In addition to knot or twist type, face width is an important specification to consider. Standard or twisted tuft brushes are available in medium and wide faces for uniform, heavy brushing. Stringer bead wire wheel brushes are a type of cable twist brush with a very narrow face. They're used for surface finishing small channels and grooves, and for preparing pipes prior to welding. Like crimped wire wheel brushes with a narrow face, stringer bead brushes have longer trim for finishing irregular surfaces with corners and crevices. These knotted wire wheel brushes can also be used for cleaning cracks in asphalt and concrete.

Get the Industrial Brushes Technical Booklet

Now that you understand the basics about crimped wire and knotted wire wheel brushes, it's time to learn how to use them under power. The Use of Industrial Brushes Guide from Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) explains what you need to know, and includes safety guidelines. You'll also find valuable information about other types of power brushes for surface finishing and deburring. There's even information about BRM Flex-Hone® tools. Download The Use of Industrial Brushes Guide now.

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How to Find the Right Surface Finishing Solution

Posted July 06, 2015 1:03 PM by Brush Research

Do you need solutions to surface finishing challenges? Are you looking for the right tools and technologies to remove burrs and improve surface quality? If you're ready to find answers to your most challenging surface finishing questions, Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) is ready to help. As a full-line supplier of flexible cylinder hones and industrial brushes, we do more than supply products. With our 55 years of experience, we provide technical expertise like you'll get with our Tech Lab program.

The BRM Tech Lab Program

Send us your most challenging part and BRM will evaluate your component for free. As part of our analysis, we'll recommend the right Flex-Hone® tool, NamPower nylon abrasive brush, or other industrial brushing tool for your specific surface finishing and deburring application. Test results typically include photographs and surface profilometer data for your part both before and after finishing. In addition to recommending the right tool for the job, BRM's technical team will provide recommendations about operating speeds.

Surface finishing and deburring challenges can be tough, but getting started with the BRM Lab Program is simple. Just download the BRM Tech Lab form and answer a few questions about your company, your part, and your surface finishing requirements. The form displays right in your Web browser and is a PDF document that's quick and easy to complete. If we need any additional information, such as a sketch or drawing of your part, our technical team will let you know.

Identifying Surface Finishing Requirements

The BRM Tech Lab form is only a page long, but asks some important questions. For example, what is your project timeline and how many parts do you need per month or even per year? What is the application for your part, and are there special circumstances surrounding its production or use? BRM supports a wide range of applications and works with partners in many different industries. As we review your part information, we'll determine the best way to put our technical knowledge to work for you.

Understanding your final finishing requirements is critical. So are part specifications such as material and hardness; bore diameter, length and type; and surface conditions. Remember to indicate whether the bore type is through or blind, and if the surface condition is chromed or plated. The BRM Tech Lab form also asks about manufacturing and machining operations prior to finishing. Was the part drilled, reamed, bored, or honed? Your answers will help BRM to recommend the right tools and technologies.

Recommending Surface Finishing Tools and Technologies

Remember, too, that we do more than just analyze your part information. BRM's full-service Tech Lab will also deburr and surface finish your part. Then, when we share the results of our efforts, we'll indicate which surface finishing and deburring tool we chose - and how we used it. Tool selection is important, of course, but making the most of a flexible hone or industrial brush also means identifying the optimum operating parameters. So let us do the work for you!

Which tool will the BRM Technical Team recommend? That depends on your application. For cylinder surface finishing, cross-hole deburring, and other inner diameter (ID) applications, the BRM Flex-Hone® tool is the industry standard. For automated parts deburring and surface finishing with outer diameter (OD) applications, NamPower nylon abrasive brushes combine high-performance with consistent, reliable, cost-effective results. BRM's catalog of industrial brushes also includes many other high-quality tools.

Send In Your Part

Are you ready to get started on the road to surface finishing success? Are you ready to solve your surface finishing and deburring challenges? BRM is ready to help. Download the form for our Tech Lab program, and let BRM do the work for you.

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