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In the metal fabrication industry you will come across the term ‘burrs’ quite a lot, but what does it mean?

Spotting Metal Burrs

Whenever a piece of metal is cut or drilled, burrs can be formed which compromise the quality standard of a metal workpiece. A raised edge, metal surface residual or material remaining attached to the workpiece are all defined as a metal burr.

You can get mechanical or thermal burrs, but they can also depend on other factors such as: metal variety, thickness of sheet, die condition, pressure of machinery, power capability of machinery and blade clearance.

What is Deburring?

Deburring is the method of removing burrs from metal workpieces. There are a number of different techniques to smooth the rough edges and eliminate the defect. Choosing which method is best for you relies on whether you need to remove localised burrs or whether your production is on a larger scale.

Deburring Methods


Manual deburring consists of operators using specialised hand tools, including localised bead blasting, artificial or pneumatic files and sandpaper. Although choosing to deburr manually is quite time-consuming, it is one of the simplest solutions and is a great choice for localised burrs.


Thermal deburring consists of using a sealed, pressurised chamber filled with oxygen and combustible gas which is then lit in a controlled environment. Multiple pieces can be treated at the same time and the burrs are burnt away efficiently with no edge rounding.


Vibratory deburring consists of using a rotating barrel or vibrating bowl filled with a mix of abrasive components. As the container rotates, the workpiece will rub against the abrasives thereby removing the metal burrs and smoothing the surface.

Manual and vibratory deburring are the best options for small productions whereas more aggressive methods, like thermal deburring, are better for larger numbers. All of these techniques are efficient at removing unwanted metal imperfections and can ensure that your work piece is of high quality. For more advice, contact us today.

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