Industrial Uses of Cylindrical Grinders

Posted on Sep 22, 2020

Cylindrical Grinders

The primary task of the cylindrical grinders is to remove the unwanted parts from a given object. They cut a workpiece in the outer or inner diameter to change its shape.

Cylindrical grinders are the machine used to shape the surface of a material. Though named as such, cylindrical grinders can process not only cylindrical workpieces but any object that has a central axis of rotation, such as an ellipse or a crankshaft. There are many uses for industrial cylindrical grinders. They are ideal for manufacturing pistons, shanks, rods, shafts, bushings, bearings, and more. These components are vital in engines, gearboxes, and motors, and therefore the automotive industry and the aerospace industry rely heavily on cylindrical grinders to manufacture these high-precision parts.

What Does a Cylindrical Grinder Do?

The primary task of the cylindrical grinders is to remove the unwanted parts from a given object. They cut a workpiece in the outer or inner diameter to change its shape. The use of a cylindrical grinder is versatile. It can take on the job to change the shape of the workpiece, or it can be used to conduct a finishing process. In a finishing process, only very fine pieces of material are removed from a workpiece in order to reach the highest surface quality.

How Do Cylindrical Grinders Work?

During a cylindrical grinding process, a workpiece is held in place by a chuck and attached to a spindle. The workpiece rotates as the spindle turns. The material on the surface of the workpiece is removed by advancing a stationary grinding tool (cutter) against the rotating workpiece. The operation determines the rotating speed. Typically, the workpiece rotates at low speeds in finishing processes.

OD/ID Cylindrical Grinding

Besides cutting on the outer diameter of a workpiece, it is also common to cut on the axial surface of the workpiece in a cylindrical grinding operation. This allows the machine to cut the inner diameter of a cylindrical part. Processing the outer diameter is called OD grinding, whereas processing the inner diameter of a workpiece is referred to as ID grinding. Most cylindrical grinders cover these two characteristics while some are only capable of OD grinding.

Grinding the Outer Diameter

OD grinding is grinding that occurs on the outer surface of an object between the centers. Measures are end units with a point that allows the object to rotate. The grinding wheel is also rotated in the same direction when it contacts the workpiece. This effectively means that the two surfaces will move in opposite directions when they come into contact, allowing for smoother operation and less chance of jamming.

Grinding the Inner Diameter

Identification grinding is grinding that occurs inside an object. The grinding wheel is always smaller than the width of the grinding hole. The item is held in place by a sleeve which also rotates the object in place. As with OD grinding, the wheel and workpiece rotated in opposite directions, creating reverse contact between the two grinding surfaces.

:: Read More: Cylindrical Grinding and Great Productivity

Where Did Grinders Come from?

The origins of the cylindrical grinder, like all other modern machine tools, stem from the experiments and inventions of John Wilkinson and later Henry Maudslay who built the first horizontal boring machine and the first motorized lathe respectively. The cylindrical grinder owes much of its development since the beginning of the industrial revolution, in particular the advent of reliable, inexpensive steel production and the subsequent improvement of the grinding wheel. The base of the modern cylindrical grinder was first built in the 1830s by two men working independently, Jonathan Bridges and James Wheaton. It is not clear which man first produced the machine, but both are closely related to the first historical appearance of the modern tool. It took another 40 years before further improvement and refinement of the tool occurred.

It should be noted that Brown & Sharpe cannot be credited exclusively with pioneering advances in roll grinding. Ambrose Webster, a resident of Waltham, Massachusetts, created a small grinder in 1860 that included all the improvements that Brown and Sharpe considered their own original invention. Moreover, the emphasis on precision, accuracy, and reliability was championed by Charles Norton.

Norton was a Brown & Sharpe employee who left the company to pursue his belief that a cylindrical grinder is not only a finishing tool but can be the backbone of a machine shop. He founded the Norton Grinding Company where he continued to improve his cylindrical grinder to use faster revolutions and more precise grinding tolerances. He was recognized for his work on April 18, 1925, when he won the John Scott Medal and Premium for the invention of "high-power precision grinding equipment". These Norton standards were the status quo until roughly the middle of the 20th century.

How Do NC/CNC Influence the Development of Grinders?

The rest of the technological innovations used in the cylindrical grinder are nearly identical and somewhat entangled with the rest of the machine tools. The innovation of the last 70 years has been characterized by three waves of change. The first wave was the creation of numerical control by John T. Parsons in the 1940s. The US Air Force, seeking faster, cheaper, and more efficient means of producing aircraft parts and tools, played a large role in the development of NC both politically and financially.

The first implementation of NC in machine tools took place in the 1950s and continued in the 1960s. The second wave of innovation in the 1970s and 1980s was marked by a huge demand for microcomputers used to run NC. The combination of computers marked the birth of computer numerical control, which once again revolutionized the capabilities of a cylindrical grinder. Now the machine was able to receive instructions from the computer that gave it precise directions for every possible dimension and dimension needed to produce the desired product.

It was a completely different working environment compared to mid-century production where the worker had to drive the machine at all times to manipulate the work. The third wave of change came in the 1990s with the advent of the personal computer. The integration of the CNC and PC computer into one dynamic system allowed for even greater control of the production process, which did not require any human supervision.

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