A Beginner’s Guide to Burnishing in Mass Finishing

A Beginner’s Guide to Burnishing in Mass Finishing

Updated: May 9, 2023

Burnishing metal is a powerful technique that will allow you to achieve a superb finish on your manufacturing products. The experts here at Finishing Systems have put together this guide to help walk you through the process.

What Is Burnishing Metal?

Burnishing is a finishing technique commonly used in vibratory finishing machines either tub or bowl-shaped configurations. Mass finishing is a broader term aligned with burnishing processes. It refers to the finishing of a mass of parts predominantly by vibratory finishing means. Burnishing can be accomplished by using ceramic or porcelain-type media, to polish the surface of a workpiece to a bright luster. But more commonly the process involves the use of steel burnishing media which comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. Choosing the proper media depends on the configuration of the parts being finished, although the balcone shape is a common configuration. The burnishing process will produce a bright and shiny finish.

3 Benefits of Burnishing

There are three main benefits burnishing can bring to the manufacturing process:

  • Short cycle time: Customers often judge manufacturers on the speed of their turnaround for finishing products. A dedicated burnishing and vibratory machine can perform the process to a mass of parts in a timely manner, especially if compared with manual polishing. With the introduction of the proper compounding agent, this burnishing process is enhanced and sped up. Steel media burnishing does require a heavy-duty machine to bear the weight of a steel media mass.
  • Compounding: Through some trial and error and depending on the metal substrate the proper burnishing compound becomes essential to the success of the operation. Your steel media mass should always be lubricated with compound. When burnishing with steel, your parts will only look as good as your media.
  • Elements:  As with all mass finishing the major elements include; Parts, equipment, media, compound, and water.

The Burnishing Process

This refers to the method of burnishing via machine and is often used in the manufacturing community:

Ball burnishing: Ball burnishing is a method often used to create a specific color or luster during the burnishing process. This method uses a hard ball pressed against the surface of your workpiece to produce the contact stress necessary to give it a mirror-like finish.

Explore Mass Finishing Equipment

Explore Mass Finishing Equipment From Finishing Systems

Burnishing metal is an efficient process to smooth workpieces to a super-fine finish without actually removing metal. Finishing Systems offers a selection of mass-finishing equipment you can use to clean, burnish and color parts for a wide variety of applications.  We also offer burnishing services in our York, PA  Job Shop. 

Have questions or want to make a purchase? We have more than 40 years of experience helping businesses like yours select the perfect solutions. Contact our team online today to connect and discuss what our superior mass-finishing equipment can do for you.