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What is Deburring?

By Sherry Holetzky
Updated May 17, 2024
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Deburring is, to put it simply, a finishing method used in industrial settings and manufacturing environments. Metal is frequently machined using many processes in order to create pieces of specific shape and size, and it may be welded, molded, cast, trimmed, slit or sheared. These procedures often create ragged edges or protrusions. The raised particles and shavings that appear when metal blanks are machined are referred to as burrs, and the process by which they are removed is known as deburring.

There are several methods that can be used to remove burrs. Abrasive substances may be applied, or abrasive cloths may be used to rub the metal in order to remove thin shavings and small notches, as well as to polish the piece. In other cases, sanding may be necessary, whether this means a small amount of sanding by hand or rigorous sanding with a machine for more troublesome deformities.

Other methods require repetitive filing or use of a grinder to smooth away nicks and fragments. Deburring and polishing may be necessary for more than one section of a metal component, since burrs and shavings can occur on seams as well as edges. All surfaces need to be completely smooth.

Deburring is important for quality, aesthetics, functionality, and the smooth operation of working parts. It is also important for safety, since even a small notch can cause moving parts to catch, creating the potential for accident, injury, or unnecessary delay in production. Rough edges can also cause injury when individuals are required to handle blanks. Each of these preventable problems can cost companies a great deal of money.

It's also necessary to remove burrs in woodworking. When pieces of wood are cut, ripped, or shorn, wood blanks can also develop rough areas, often in the form of shavings, chips or splinters. With wood, the most common methods of smoothing the piece are sanding and filing. Sanding may be accomplished with a power sander, or simply by touching up the worst spots by hand. Edges may also be finished with a router.

Deburring greatly improves the quality and functionality of metal and wood pieces, making it a necessary use of time and a cost effective process.

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Discussion Comments

By anon333645 — On May 07, 2013

Is there any need to change-over from manual deburring to automated deburring?

By anon138866 — On Jan 02, 2011

I had no idea what a deburrer was until now. It sounds fascinating. I think I will apply for that job I just saw advertised in the Tulsa World. Does anyone know if experience is necessary to get a job as a deburrer. I don't have any experience as a deburrer.

By anon55340 — On Dec 07, 2009

Deburring is basically smoothing the rough edges or any other part of the metal that needs a smooth surface finish.

With regards to drawings, the grit of the sanding medium may also be specified especially in relation to the type of material that needs to be deburred since they all have varying scales/grades of hardness.

Flash is usually the excess metal commonly seen in die casting and closed die forging due to extreme pressures applied during which a good portion of the material is squeezed out of the mold/die in the metal forming process.

Deflashing is removal of flash by applying pressure with the aid of trimmer presses fitted with a corresponding upper and lower mold/die halves shaped in accordance with the outline of the finished metal part and usually made sharp at the surrounding edges for cutting purposes much like blades.

The force applied is usually strong enough to fracture this excess metal upon impact with the mold/die halves thereby causing it to fall-off or separate from at the boundaries of the finished part.

Sawing/grinding is also another means to deflash, either with the aid of manual or automatic machines like power tools and bandsaws to perform the cutting off procedures around the finished part.

By anon29162 — On Mar 28, 2009

What is the difference between deburring and deflashing? Is there any considerable difference between these terms?

By jheron — On Mar 13, 2009

Are there any specifications for deburring? I am looking for something to reference on manufacturing drawings.

By anon24369 — On Jan 11, 2009

Deburring also includes using media (for example ceramic rock) to deburr metals in a vibrating equipment such as a tumbler.

By anon19241 — On Oct 08, 2008

Great explanation! Full of related vocabulary, very useful! Thanks

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