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Vibratory finishing

Vibratory finishing

Improving the surface of a part through friction

Vibratory finishing or vibratory grinding is a method of surface treatment.
The aim of this process is to improve the surface condition of a metal piece through physical and chemical friction and vibration.
It is inspired by the flow of water in rivers which naturally polishes rough stones into completely smooth pebbles.
is therefore thanks to the contact of the media, i.e. the mixture of abrasives and additives as well as certain liquids, that the pieces can be polished.

The parameters

Determining the components

The first step is to decide on the components of the machine. The components can be classified into two categories: abrasives and additives. Abrasives are media that have a coarse texture, such as porcelain. Additives correspond to pumice stones for a more “scrubbed” effect, they are often mixed with antioxidant soaps.
Next, it is important to choose a suitable shape: the vibratory finisher uses balls, cones, cylinders, stars, and sometimes even needles… Each shape has a specific advantage, for example, the cone makes it possible to touch a larger surface, because each of its sides comes into contact with the piece.

The technique

What does it mean in practice?

The vibratory finisher lays the metal piece into a machine. This machine vibrates and causes movements. The media and additive come into contact with the piece.
Thanks to these vibrations, the piece comes out without any burrs, completely smooth and soft.
At Pichard-Balme, we are special in that we combine traditional techniques with electro-polishing, which makes it possible to obtain a qualitative final result with a shiny surface.

The stages

Stretching the material without affecting its shape

Vibratory finishing is carried out in four key stages: deburring, pre-polishing, polishing and brightening.
The aim of all these steps is to tighten the material and to erase the various traces in order to obtain the smoothest possible surface finish without warping the angles and making the work of the polishers easier.


After machining, stamping or casting, the raw part must be prepared for finishing by deburring.


This is followed by pre-polishing to improve the surface of the workpiece to a soft, shiny finish.


Then comes polishing, which softens the surface of the metal and makes it shine.


Brightening consists of shining the part to obtain a ``mirror polish``.