Mass finishing processes are most usually wet processes.  The water used in the vibratory or tumbling process contains abraded media, compound and particulate from the work pieces themselves.  Some processes will be set up as a closed drain process in which the water is circulated through the machine during the cycle.  This method uses less water, but the water eventually will be flushed out of the system.  The other method is an open drain, or flow through process in which fresh water and compound are metered into the mass finishing equipment while processing.  Either of these systems will eventually require dealing with wastewater, referred to as effluent, at some point.  In a closed drain system, this will happen at the end of the process or batch and in a flow through system the effluent will need to be dealt with continuously.  Occasionally the effluent is transferred to a settling tank or lifting station until it can be processed.

The two basic classifications of equipment that deal with effluent, or wastewater, is via a Filtration System or a more sophisticated Centrifuge System.

Municipalities differ significantly as to what might be able to go directly to drain.  In almost all cases effluent must be treated prior to going to drain.  Abrasive Products recommends that you always check with your local municipality as to what can safely be disposed of via drain.  Properly dealing with effluent is a critical consideration in determining what process works best for your application.

Centrifuge System

These systems, process the effluent by introducing the wastewater into a spinning bucket or container.  The heavy particulate, almost a clay from ceramic media, and the fines, or possibly flashing or burrs from the work pieces gravitate towards the outer walls of the spinning bucket as effluent flows through.  These buckets, or sometimes fixed containers, are then either manually removed and cleaned or in automated systems they can be scraped clean by a scraping blade.  The recycled water is returned either to the machine to be used again or to a tank or lifting station to be utilized again.  Some processes do not lend themselves to a centrifuge process.  Processes that use a heavily acidic compound, possibly for descaling, and some processes using plastic media may not work as well in a centrifuge.

Filtration System

A filter system is usually a less expensive way to remove the very large particulate from your effluent or waste stream.  It is difficult to remove all contaminant from effluent using mechanical filtration.  The particulate is typically too fine to be removed via a filter.  However you can remove the larger sediment from the media and the work pieces via a filter.  Abrasive Products offers a moving filter bed system from Abrasive Finishing as well as simple settling tanks.


Contact Abrasive Products for more information regarding Wastewater Systems.