Modeling of the wet immersed tumbling process with the Discrete Element Method (DEM)
Immersed tumbling is an industrially established process for finishing of components made of metal, ceramic or plastic. In this process, the components are completely surrounded by a wet, abrasive medium, which allows burrs to be removed and surfaces to be polished. In order to gain specific insights into the influence and flow properties of the abrasive media used in this process, numerical approaches using the Discrete Element Method (DEM) with the Rocky DEM software are presented within these investigations. A complete process simulation could be realised by means of a digital machine tool. The immersed tumbling process with cone-shaped polymer abrasive media is implemented by use of a liquid bridge model. The results were validated by experiments with an industrially used immersed tumbling machine tool and for the first time allow sound statements about the contact conditions and interactions of the abrasive media with the workpiece.