Centerless grinding makes it possible to grind parts to custom sizes and shapes with the implementation of proper tooling control and support.
Custom machining parts are really important in high performance applications. The operation, however, requires a complex process. Grinding bars to shape and removing unnecessary parts, for example, requires boring holes through the center of the bar in order to hold it accurately for precision grinding. The challenge here is keeping the proper position and control of the bar (workpiece) in the grinding machine.
Centerless grinding, without a doubt, is often misunderstood.
What separates it from other machining strategies is that it requires no boring of holes through the bar to keep it in a tight and secure position. Centerless grinding is often thought of as an OD grinding process; however, central support is not required in keeping the workpiece intact in its position.
Centerless grinding has a three-point positioning method that makes it possible to grind parts to custom sizes and shapes. For grinding custom steel pieces, centerless grinding is perfect for keeping the workpiece intact during the abrasive metal removal to give the final product its required surface finish.
Controls in Grinding Custom Steels
The proper positioning of tools and fixtures is highly critical to the surface finish and diameter tolerance of the bar. Thus, there is a real need to pay special attention to gap, dressing, and position control for the grinding wheel. The grinding operation allows control over the following:
Grinding wheel size and abrasive grains
- There is a need to vary the size of the grinding wheels in order to control the cutting forces and the surface finish. The continuous abrasive metal removal causes porosity in the operation, which is why coolant solution is applied throughout the process.
The gap between grinding wheels
- Consistency in the gap between wheels is crucial to the bar’s final shape and cut. If it is not held in consistent control, this can result in distorted or deformed parts. Ensuring proper gap control helps to properly switch the wheel speed from approach speed into the feed rate to optimize cycle time.
Dressing of abrasive grains
- The continuous grinding process can dull the wheels, which means constant dressing is important to achieve a consistent surface polish and successful cut. Diamond abrasive grains are highly recommended in the forming of highly accurate wheel shapes to meet tight tolerances and to produce complex part geometries.
For metal or steel pieces, whether small or large, centerless grinding makes it possible for metalworkers to achieve the desired, highly precise cut in custom steel sizes that meet the required tolerance and roundness. Major industries like the automotive, aircraft, military, and manufacturing industries require and use centerless grinding in making customized steel pieces for various high-performance applications.
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