Metal Cutting

Overview of Deburring Processes 251

Overview of Deburring Processes provides an introduction to the various types of burrs and the methods of burr removal in modern manufacturing. Manual, mechanized, and automated deburring processes are commonly used for various workpieces. Each of these processes utilizes many of the same tools and methods, such as abrasive deburring and wire brushing.

This class introduces users to the various deburring tools and processes that they may encounter in manufacturing settings, including how both manual tools and machines operate and what types of workpieces they are appropriate for. This foundational knowledge is necessary for any further learning or training in deburring.

  • Difficulty Intermediate

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 17

  • Language English


Or fill out this form and a specialist will contact you shortly

Course Outline
  • Deburring Processes in Manufacturing
  • Burrs
  • Burr Types
  • The Importance of Deburring
  • Review: Deburring Basics
  • Manual Deburring
  • Manual Deburring Tools
  • Mechanized and Automated Deburring
  • Review: Deburring Types
  • Wire Brushing
  • Brush and Filament Types
  • Abrasive Deburring
  • Fixed and Loose Abrasives
  • Mass Finishing
  • Review: Wire Brush and Abrasive Deburring
  • Other Deburring Processes
  • Final Review
  • Describe deburring.
  • Describe burrs.
  • Describe the most common types of burrs.
  • Describe the importance of deburring.
  • Describe manual deburring.
  • Describe tools used in manual deburring.
  • Distinguish between mechanized and automated deburring.
  • Describe wire brush deburring.
  • Describe brush and filament types.
  • Describe abrasive deburring.
  • Distinguish between fixed and loose abrasives.
  • Describe mass finishing.
  • Describe other common deburring processes.
Vocabulary Term


A material consisting of hard particles used to remove workpiece material. Abrasives are used in both heavy and light material removal.

abrasive deburring

The process of using bonded or loose abrasive grains to remove burrs. Abrasive deburring is more aggressive than brush deburring.

abrasive monofilament

A single strand of synthetic fiber containing abrasive grains. Abrasive monofilament is an alternative to metal wire.

abrasive-flow machining

AFM. The process of extruding a semisolid media through a workpiece's cavities to remove burrs. Abrasive-flow machining removes burrs in difficult-to-access places where media flow is restricted.

aluminum oxide

A chemical compound of aluminum and oxygen that is used as a conventional abrasive. Aluminum oxide is extremely durable.


A manufacturing process in which two or more components are joined together to create a finished part. Proper assembly requires burr-free parts.


Performed without human intervention or involvement. Automated burr removal systems use computers to control various deburring tools and process components.

automated deburring

Burr removal performed without human intervention or involvement. Automated deburring uses computers to control various deburring tools and process components.

bar stock

Raw material in the form of long bars or cylinders. Rough cutting bar stock can result in the formation of large burrs.

barrel tumbling

A process in which parts and media tumble together inside of a rotating barrel to create friction that removes burrs. Barrel tumbling is the most common form of mass finishing.


A specific number of identical parts that move through the production cycle in a group. An entire batch of parts can be deburred in mass finishing.


A thin, sharp, handheld cutting tool. The deburring blade, or knife, is used to remove burrs from straight edges.


The process of removing unwanted material by forcing abrasive particles against the surface of parts. Blasting uses pressurized air to spray particles at parts as they travel on a conveyor.

bonded abrasives

A grinding tool made from the combination of abrasive grains and bond material. Bonded abrasives are typically in the form of grinding wheels.

bonding agent

The adhesive material that holds abrasive grains together in a grinding tool. A bonding agent holds together the abrasive particles in a grinding wheel.


A material that has limited resistance to being stretched, formed, or drawn. Brittle burrs are prone to removal.


A finishing tool with filaments used to remove dirt, light rust, and other loose materials. A brush removes burrs without severely damaging the surface material.


A sharp, unwanted projection on a machined workpiece. Burrs are removed during finishing to improve the functionality and appearance of the part.


A negatively charged conductor through which electricity travels. A cathode can remove burrs but requires the assistance of a conductive solution.

centrifugal disc finishing

A process in which parts are placed in a container of media and rotated by the centrifugal force of a disc to remove burrs. Centrifugal disc finishing deburrs parts very quickly.

centrifugal force

A force that keeps an object moving in a circular or curved path. Centrifugal force is used in several mass finishing processes.


An inorganic material that consists of both metallic and nonmetallic atoms held together by strong bonds. Ceramic grains are used to remove material from a workpiece.


A beveled surface that eliminates a 90° sharp corner on the cutting edge. A chamfer makes a part's edge smooth.

coated abrasives

An abrasive tool composed of abrasive grains adhered to a flexible backing material, such as paper, plastic, or cloth. Coated abrasive tools are often used for finishing operations.

computer numerical control

CNC. A programmable control system for a machine tool that uses mathematical data and microcomputers to machine parts. A computer numerical control machine is much quicker and more accurate than its manual counterpart and has unique setup considerations.

continuous flow

Moving parts through a production system without separating them into groups of a specific number. Continuous flow operations are possible with some mass finishing processes.

corrosion resistance

A material's ability to resist the gradual degradation caused by the atmosphere, moisture, or other substances. Corrosion resistance allows a part to function properly for a longer period of time.


Pinched, bent, or pressed into the desired shape. Crimped wires are more flexible for deburring lighter materials.

cryogenic deburring

A process that uses extremely cold temperatures to aid in the removal of burrs. Cryogenic deburring freezes burrs and then mechanically removes the frozen, brittle burrs.

cup brushes

A brush in which the filaments are bundled into a cup shape. Cup brushes are used for larger holes and short cavities.

cutoff burr

A burr formed when material separates from the main workpiece before it is completely severed. Cutoff burrs are common in turning operations.


Removing sharp projections left on a workpiece after a machining operation. Deburring is often done by hand or with machines or robots.


Removing scale from a processed part by using a chemical substance or abrasive material. Descaling can be accomplished by many mass finishing processes.


A material's ability to be drawn, stretched, or formed without breaking. Ductile materials, like wire brushes, bend easily.


A material's ability to be drawn, stretched, or formed without breaking. Ductility generally increases with softer metals.

edge finishing

A process that improves the quality of a part's edges. Edge finishing may include edge preparation, deburring, chamfering, polishing, or other operations that prepare edges for use or inspection.

electrochemical deburring

ECD. The process of applying an electrified chemical solution to a workpiece to remove burrs. Electrochemical deburring is used when burrs are inaccessible to other deburring processes.

end brushes

A brush in which the filaments are bundled tightly into a circular hub. End brushes reach into deep pockets and holes to remove burrs.

end-finishing machines

A machine with a rotating cutting tool that deburrs or chamfers the ends of tubes and bars. End-finishing machines can quickly process parts.


Forcing through a die. Abrasive material is extruded through the intricate cavities of parts to remove burrs.


A condition in which metals begin to fail after being exposed to improper load conditions, too many deflections, or extreme temperatures. Fatigue can result in the failure of a mechanical device.

feed rate

The rate at which the cutting tool and the workpiece move in relation to one another. Feed rate influences burr formation.


An extremely thin strand of material. Filaments are used as bristles in wire brushes for surface finishing.


A flat metal cutting tool with a large number of very small teeth. Files wear away workpiece burrs and material through abrasion.


A metal cutting process that emphasizes tight tolerances and smooth surface finish. Finishing is usually the last step in the machining process.

fixed abrasives

Abrasive grains adhered together with a bonding material or on backing material. Fixed abrasives can be bonded or coated tools used for material removal.


Effectively supported, located, and held by a custom workholding device. A fixtured workpiece prevents inconsistencies in deburring.


A force that resists motion between components in an operation. Increased friction in mass finishing leads to burr removal.

gear deburring machines

A machine designed to deburr and chamfer gear teeth and edges. Gear deburring machines employ a variety of tools such as brushes, chamfering tools, and abrasives.


A round or cylindrical mechanical component with teeth that is used to transmit power. Gears are designed to mesh with one another and must be free of burrs to properly function.


An organic compound belonging to the alcohol family. A glycol solution can be used to transmit electricity for deburring with the electrochemical deburring.


A small, hard particle or crystal of abrasive material. Abrasive grains are bonded together to create grinding wheels and other abrasive tools.

grinding cones

A small cone made of a bonded abrasive used to remove material from a workpiece surface. A grinding cone removes burrs from holes and creates chamfers.

grinding wheels

A disc made of a bonded abrasive used to remove material from a workpiece surface. A grinding wheel rotates and shears away small chips of material and can produce very fine surface finishes.


A thin, sharp, handheld cutting tool. A deburring knife, or blade, is used to remove burrs from straight edges.

lateral deformation

The bulging of material caused by downward force. Lateral deformation is a characteristic of a Poisson burr.

loose abrasive deburring

The process of removing burrs with unbonded ceramic grains. Loose abrasive deburring includes operations such as blasting and vibratory finishing.

lubricant retention

A material's ability to absorb and hold a friction-reducing substance. Lubricant retention improves with better surface finishes.

manual deburring

A process that removes burrs by using handheld cutting tools. Manual deburring is often used in combination with other mechanized and automated processes.

mass finishing

A process that uses containers of rotating media to deburr multiple parts. Mass finishing is one of the most efficient deburring operations.


Performed and controlled by a machine. Mechanized processes often require a person to operate the machine.

mechanized deburring

The process of using machines to perform burr removal operations. Mechanized deburring is a common practice in factories.


Grains of abrasive or non-abrasive material used to modify surface finish in mass finishing and other finishing operations. Media for finishing operations are commonly made of ceramic materials.

part runs

A series of identically-shaped finished products. Part runs require accurate and repeatable machining processes to ensure consistency.

pin vise

A small, handheld cylindrical tool that grips rotary burs. A pin vise can be used for deburring very small parts.

plastic deformation

Permanent deformation of a material due to stress. Plastic deformation occurs in many metal cutting operations.

Poisson burr

A burr formed by the lateral flow of material away from a cutting tool. Poisson burrs result from the downward force of a cutting tool.


A thermoplastic polymer used as a resin for traditional composites. Polypropylene is an alternative to metal wire for brush deburring.

radial brushes

A circular brush that is center mounted. Radial brushes are typically powered by rotational force in a stationary machine.


A curved feature of a tool or part. The burr radius may be present at the base of the burr.


A raw polymer that has not been formed into its final molded shape. Resin is mixed with abrasive particles to create tools like grinding wheels.

robotic deburring

The process of using robots to perform burr removal operations. Robotic deburring is used for large-batch and high-production operations.

rollover burr

A burr formed by a cutting tool exiting a workpiece. A rollover burr bends over the edge of a machined part.

rotary burs

A small precision cutting tool that rotates. Rotary burs can be used by hand or be motorized.

rough cutting

The quick removal of metal from a workpiece without regard to tolerances or finish. Rough cutting is generally followed with additional cutting processes.

router bit

A multi-point cutting tool used to machine edges or grooves into workpieces. Router bits are frequently used to make round edges.

sanding discs

A round piece of woven or nonwoven material covered in a coated abrasive. Sanding discs are rotated by motorized devices to remove burrs from parts.

sanding pads

A strip or square piece of woven or nonwoven material covered in a coated abrasive. Sanding pads can be used by hand to remove burrs from a part.


To cut material from a workpiece. Cutting tools that shear the workpiece material rather than tearing it may leave fewer burrs.

shock waves

A pulsating disturbance traveling through space or material. Thermal shock waves remove burrs in the thermal energy method.


A ceramic compound that is commonly used to make a wide variety of sanding products. Loose silica grains are used in blasting deburring processes.

silicon carbide

A chemical compound made from silicon and carbon. Silicon carbide abrasive grains are harder than aluminum oxide grains.

single-purpose machines

A machine designed to execute one specific operation. Single-purpose machines perform operations such as deburring, brushing, grinding, and polishing.


A machine component that holds and spins a workpiece or tool. Spindles hold one part at a time in spindle finishing.

spindle finishing

A process in which a spindle rotates a workpiece in a rotating tub of abrasive media to remove burrs. Spindle finishing can process only a limited amount of parts in an operating cycle.


Raw material purchased from metal manufacturers in the form of long pieces. Stock is a common form of workpiece material.

surface finish

The degree of roughness and variation on the surface of a part after it has been manufactured. Surface finish is affected by heat treatment, machining, and other manufacturing operations.

swivel blade

A thin, sharp, handheld cutting tool that rotates. A swivel blade is used to remove burrs from straight or round edges.


A cellular vegetable fiber. Tampico is used for bristles in brushes.

tear burr

A burr formed when chips are torn rather than sheared from the workpiece. Tear burrs occur in milling where the chip is forced up and forward.

thermal energy method

TEM. The process of placing a part in a chamber of pressurized gas and igniting the gas to remove the part's burrs. The thermal energy method completely vaporizes the burrs.

threaded fasteners

A cylindrical device with a long, spiraling ridge that holds objects together or locates them in relation to one another. Threaded fasteners like screws and bolts are best deburred by brushes.


An unwanted but acceptable deviation from a given dimension. Tolerances indicate the allowable difference between a part feature and its intended design.

tool geometry

The angles formed by the shape and positioning of a cutting tool. Tool geometry is a key factor in part surface finish.

trimming presses

A machine that uses various cutting dies and a mechanical or hydraulic press to remove rough edges and burrs. Trimming presses are widely used for deburring castings.

tube brushes

A brush with twisted or spiral bristles on a long, thin stem. Tube brushes are used to deburr the insides of pipes or holes.

twisted tuft

A bundle of wires with a spiral shape. Twisted tuft filaments provide more strength and force to brushes.

vibratory finishing

A process in which parts move around in a vibrating container of media to remove burrs. Vibratory finishing is a common mass finishing process.

wear resistance

A material's ability to resist the gradual wearing away caused by abrasion and friction. Deburring a workpiece can improve the wear resistance and lengthen the life of a material.

wide-face brushes

A brush that consists of a large cylinder covered with filaments. Wide-face brushes can utilize any style of filament.

wire brushes

A finishing tool with wire filaments used to remove dirt, light rust, and other loose materials. A wire brush removes burrs without severely damaging the surface material.

workpiece edgers

A machine with an angled trough and a piloted chamfering tool that deburrs rectangular workpieces. Workpiece edgers need an operator to feed the workpieces into the machine.