Flash is excess material that remains on a part after the casting or molding process is complete. The process of removing the material is known as deflashing and involves manual methods as well as those involving extreme temperature or combustion. One common method is thermal deflashing, which is a process where high temperatures are used to remove residual flash from metal components.
What Is the Thermal Deflashing Process?
During the thermal deflashing process, extreme heat is used to deflash parts. First, the metal parts are sealed in a closed chamber. The chamber is then filled with a mixture of oxygen and natural gas, which is ignited to generate combustion as an energy source for processing. The combustion process produces a short burst of intense heat that affect all surfaces inside the chamber. Even though this blast of heat only lasts roughly 20 milliseconds, the temperatures can reach upwards of 3000°C (5430°F).
Since flash has a relatively large surface area in relation to its mass, it is quickly heated above the combustion point and burned off. The remainder of the part, having considerably greater mass, is unaffected by the brief burst of heat and the dimensions and metallurgy remain unchanged. After the process is complete, parts are sometimes washed to remove any combustion residue.
As a provider of metal component deflashing and other finishing services since 1983, we have the experience and equipment to produce finished parts that meet or exceed your expectations. We work with OEMs across several industries and all thermal deflashing services are performed in our ISO 9001 certified facility.
Advantages of Thermal Deflashing for Metal Components
Metal component deflashing is used for parts of all shapes and sizes. It is especially effective for removing flash from cavities and other areas that are difficult to access using manual removal methods. Thermal deflashing also has a short cycle time that makes it ideal for flash removal of large volumes of products.
Other advantages include:
- Requires less labor than manual deflashing
- Does not involve the use of abrasive materials
- Effectively removes flash from small or hard-to-access areas
- More cost-effective than hand deburring
Because of the intense heat involved, the thermal deflashing process should only be used for metals, except for magnesium. The use of combustion also makes the process less suitable for metal components that require a high-quality finish.