Deciding what to do with tumbling media after using it can be problematic. Harmful chemicals will often stick to the media. So, throwing it away or reusing it might seem like a tricky decision to make. There are a couple of things to consider before reusing or recycling media.
First, it’s important to note that tumbling media is not a one-off material. In other words, users will rarely dispose of it after only a single use. If it continues to clean, it’s a safe bet that it doesn’t need replacing.
As with any abrasive material, tumbling media is useless if it loses its abrasive quality. In that case, disposing of it and using a new batch would seem like a logical move.
Also, how to do away with useless tumbling media is another tough question. Can it be treated like regular trash or is there a special way to get rid of it? So, here is a quick guide that explains how to deal with tumbling media after using it.
Reusing tumbling media
Tumbling media is a reusable material that usually has a long life span. Steel, ceramic, and plastic media can last for some time before it needs replacing. In other words, there is no need to throw it away after a couple of uses. But, at some point, the material will lose its abrasive qualities.
Every material is different and its longevity will depend on the kinds of parts it cleans. Simply put, some parts will degrade the abrasive quality faster than others. When that happens, it’s time to get a new batch of tumbling media.
Moreover, organic tumbling media will usually have a shorter life span. For example, corn cob media will last for about 10 to 15 runs before it requires replacing. Similarly, walnut shell media will last for 15 to 20 runs. However, stainless steel media will last for a long time and won’t degrade in the process.
Recycling and disposing of tumbling media
It’s common practice to recycle tumbling media. But how to do it safely will depend on the type of media. For example, plastic media is recyclable like any other form of plastic. So, for the sake of the environment, it’s wise to recycle it properly.
Similarly, organic media is biodegradable. In other words, throwing it away anywhere won’t have any negative effects.
But there are some safety issues when getting rid of tumbling media. Sometimes, it can be too dirty for recycling. For example, paint or metal parts can leave lead residue on the media.
Since lead is harmful to people, it’s unsafe to throw it away like any other trash. Besides, it can also have a bad impact on the environment. To be on the safe side, it’s wise to check local laws to see how to get rid of lead.
Moreover, users should be careful when dealing with lead-tainted media. Letting lead dust float in the air is not safe. So, businesses should have rules in place for dealing with tumbling media in such situations.