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Metal finishing Q&As since 1989


Polishing/finishing bearing races and housings

We're a company manufacturing ball and roller bearings. We used to chuck-up our finished races and use scotchbrite or something similar to 'pretty up/polish' whatever you want to call it, the finished races prior to assembly. I don't know the exact details of the process we used to use as I am new, but we cannot use this method any more. So we're looking for something to achieve a similar result. (The race can no longer be in a rotating chuck). We tried hand polishing using hand grinders with buffing wheels but this is too 'operator dependent' and the results are inconssistent. We have a vibratory finishing machine and have been experimenting with different media but the results are not what we had hoped for and the chemicals are very caustic/toxic and expensive.
(I don't think we can just use media with no chemicals because the races are hard 58-62 Rc and some can be pretty large - above 30" dia). We're essentially looking to 'automate' this process or remove as much of the operator dependance as possible.
Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

John Murphy
Bearing Manufacturer - Danboro, Pennsylvania, USA

I think mass finishing is the best way to go. First you have to do a couple of things in the planning stages. Figure out what kind of volume you have and/or processing time. Rather than you doing all the work on trying to achieve the surface finish, send out samples to manufacturers of the type of equip. you are using or may want to use and have them develope the process for you. Because of the upper size range of your parts, there maybe a cut-off point where you may not want to proceed or use mass finishing. If that is the case there are some automated bush system companies out there who will build custom equip. Lastly, if all else fails, give me a call and we will do all of the above.

tony kenton
AF Kenton
retired business owner - Hatboro, Pennsylvania

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