Abrasive Flow Machining Explained

Abrasive Flow Machining (AFM) is a state-of-the-art machining method.

Abrasive Flow Machining

Abrasive Flow Machining (AFM) uses an abrasive medium, a flowable mixture of abrasive particles, to perform deburring, flashing, and rounding under pressure to improve the surface finish of the workpiece and achieve precise processing.

This method is considered the best alternative to manual finishing or processing complex shapes, as well as other difficult-to-machine parts.

AFM is also effective for workpieces that are not suitable for drum, vibration, or other high-volume processing methods, or that are prone to damage during processing.

Additionally, AFM can effectively remove delamination after electric discharge machining or laser beam processing, as well as residual stress on the surface from previous processes.

Machine tool composition

Abrasive Flow Machining (AFM) consists of three components:

  • An abrasive flow processing machine that applies pressure to the abrasive.
  • A fluid abrasive, which is a mixture of a polymer material and abrasive grains. The polymer material does not adhere to metal and holds the abrasive grains well, preventing them from volatilizing and ensuring a consistent flow. The abrasive grains can be made of materials such as alumina, corundum, silicon carbide, boron carbide, cubic boron nitride, or diamond.
  • A fixture that secures the workpiece and creates a passage for the fluid abrasive to flow over the surface to be machined. The fixture also guides the flow of the fluid abrasive.


The Dynaflow Abrasive Flow Process (AFM), developed by Dynetics of Massachusetts in the United States, is a metal finishing process that uses abrasive-containing media to reciprocate across the surface or bore of the workpiece.

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It has a wide range of potential applications.

When the AFM was first introduced over 50 years ago, it was mainly used to remove burrs from the inner passages and complex intersections in metal parts.

It is particularly suited for processing complex aerospace components made of challenging-to-machine alloy materials.

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