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C like Chips

Updated: Apr 26, 2022

Mass finishing from A-Z

Grinding media, "Trowaliersteine", tumbler media, polishing media or chips. The tools used in mass finishing (according to DIN 8589-17:2003-09 mass finishing) have many names that basically all mean the same thing, but in detail mean different processes.

In mass finishing, abrasives describe a body of ceramic- or plastic-bonded abrasive grain. The carrier material is clay or synthetic resin in combination with quartz, corundum (usually aluminium oxide) or, more rarely, silicon carbide.

They can be used for coarse, medium or fine grinding in different abrasive qualities, which determine the grinding effect. In even finer gradations, they smooth and can produce a light shine. For the high-gloss finish, descaling or cleaning, we use the cylinders, triangles or balls, which are often referred to as polishing bodies and are usually ceramic-bonded.

Avatec tip: Our abrasiveness levels range from 0 to 94, starting at 0 with polishing and ending at 94 with our extremely abrasive chips.

The word "Trowaliersteine" can be traced back to the Walther Trowal company, which had the word mark "Trowalisieren" protected in 1951. This protection expired after 20 years, but the term remained. The deonym appears in various modified forms and is often used to describe grinding or polishing bodies or as a synonym for vibratory grinding.

Tumbling stones can be traced back to the oldest form of industrial tumbler grinding. Deburring, grinding and polishing in round containers probably actually had its beginnings as early as the Middle Ages. Chain mail or swords were rolled with stones in barrels (see Beaver, L.: Barrel Finishing of Metal Products. Products Finishing 12, 1948). The industrial use in drums found its beginnings in the 1920s.

Avatec tip: Colours only play a limited role. Plastic chips are coloured differently depending on the manufacturer.



  • ​lower price/kg

  • longer service lives

  • can grind more aggressively

  • grind more gently

  • higher bulk density

  • less risk of splintering

  • matting

  • often brighter surfaces

New abrasives:

  • due to dissolving bond resin residues in plastic abrasive bodies, a lot of foam is produced initially, which can be reduced by increasing the compound concentration.

  • should be pre-rolled so that small flakes on ceramic bodies or broken off burrs on plastic bodies do not lead to increased wear on the machine (gap on disc-type centrifugal systems) or get into the workpieces.

  • grind much harder and therefore produce a rougher surface. In order to have a defined initial condition, polishing wheels should therefore only be used pre-rolled.

Used (blunt) abrasives:

  • look specky and can give the overall mixture more abrasive effect again by adding new abrasive media.

  • can bring back increased grinding performance with the help of grinding paste/grinding powder.

Avatec tip: Larger abrasives usually produce a rougher surface and provide more edge rounding. Small abrasives provide a more even finish.

No liability is assumed for the correctness and completeness.

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