Cylindrical Grinding Basics

Posted on Jan 6, 2021

Cylindrical Grinding

Cylindrical grinding is a grinding method used to grind cylindrical or tapered objects in particular, such as shanks, shafts, rods, axles, etc. These components are important in machines. They serve as supporting components of a structure or the moving parts in a machine that are required to withstand loads and forces. As a result, cylindrical grinding should be performed with excellent precision to ensure the quality of these workpieces.

Grinding Process Overview

Grinding is essentially a process in which stock is removed from the material in the form of tiny chips. It is different from other machining processes such as drilling and boring since these processes are performed to create a hole or a slot in a workpiece while grinding is more of a process used to create a surface finish on a workpiece. The machining tools used in a grinding process are also different from those used in a drilling process. The drill bits used for drilling are a piece of the shank with a sharp tip and a cutting edge; the tip end and sharp edge remove parts from material by piercing, shearing, and cutting.

As for the tools used for grinding, it is typically a grinding wheel or abrasive with mineral grains on the grinding surface that grinds away a thin surface layer from a material. There are a number of grinding methods; each used for certain types of workpieces. One of the most common types of grinding in the general manufacturing and engineering industry is cylindrical grinding. Cylindrical grinding is used primarily to manufacture the key parts in a machine such as motor shafts or piston rods.
 

What Is Cylindrical Grinding?

Cylindrical grinding is a grinding method used to grind cylindrical or tapered objects in particular, such as shanks, shafts, rods, axles, etc. These components are important in machines. They serve as supporting components of a structure or the moving parts in a machine that are required to withstand loads and forces. As a result, cylindrical grinding should be performed with excellent precision to ensure the quality of these workpieces. The machine used to perform cylindrical grinding is called the cylindrical grinder or cylindrical grinding machine.
 

:: Read More: Industrial Uses of Cylindrical Grinders
 

Introducing Cylindrical Grinders

A cylindrical grinder is designed especially for cylindrical grinding processes because the way cylindrical grinding is performed is categorically different from a typical grinding process. In a conventional grinding process, a workpiece is held stationary while a grinding wheel rotating at a high speed advances against the workpiece to grind. However, in a cylindrical grinding process, both the wheel head and the cylindrical workpiece have to be rotating so that every inch of the surface can be ground evenly.

A cylindrical workpiece may be clamped by a jaw chuck with a rotary movement capability which allows the piece to rotate during the grinding process. A cylindrical part may also be clamped between two centers, the headstock, and the tailstock, during a process. The headstock and tailstock are the standard components on a high-precision CNC cylindrical grinder. Clamping a cylindrical part between two centers can is ideal for external cylindrical grinding while clamping a workpiece on only one end with the headstock enables the process of internal cylindrical grinding as well as external grinding.
 

Construction of a Cylindrical Grinder

The very basic components of a cylindrical grinder include a base, a headstock, a tailstock, and a wheel head. A cylindrical grinder usually has a rectangular base that connects all the parts together as a machine. There is a bed mounted on the base with a rail or a guide. A headstock is fixed on one end of the bed. The headstock is constructed with a spindle and a chuck so that it can clamp a workpiece and rotate.

A tailstock is mounted onto the other end of the bed; it can travel across the bed via the rail set or the guide. With the linear movement of the tailstock on the bed, a cylindrical grinder can work with objects of different lengths. The movement and positioning of the tailstock can be controlled either manually with a handwheel or automatically by a power system.

The wheel head is mostly positioned on the side of the bed so that it can machine the circumference of a cylindrical workpiece. There is sometimes a second grinding wheel that faces the headstock so that the machine can perform an internal grinding process. That being said, a cylindrical grinding process is typically done all by the main wheel head since most cylindrical grinders have the wheel head equipped with the 3-axis movement capability.
 

External Cylindrical Grinding

External cylindrical grinding is an essential process used for the production of cylindrical or tapered components such as shafts, axles, and spindles. The automotive and aerospace industries rely on external cylindrical grinding heavily to produce these high-precision components. Such a process is used mainly to remove material from the circumference of a workpiece. The external grinding can be performed in either radial or axial modes for plunge grinding and traverse grinding. An external grinding process usually has the workpiece clamped between two centers so that greater operation accuracy and surface quality can be attained.
 

Internal Cylindrical Grinding

Internal cylindrical grinding is mostly involved when machining cylindrical or tapered bores. During an internal grinding process, the grinding wheel is fed into the workpiece in the axial direction instead of the radial direction. The advancing of the grinding wheel in the axial direction is referred to as the longitudinal feed movement. The grinding wheel also has radial movement so that it can move within the bore to grind the internal wall of the bore. In an internal grinding process, the contact area between the grinding wheel and the workpiece is relatively larger; the removal of chips has hence become an issue in such a process.
 

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