Introduction to PLC surface grinder

Posted on Sep 11, 2020

Introduction to PLC surface grinder

PLC surface grinder is used to obtain a smooth finish on flat surfaces. It is a widely used abrasive machining process in which a rotating disc coated with rough particles (grinding wheel) cuts a shavings of a metallic or non-metallic substance from the workpiece, making the surface flat or smooth.



Surface grinding is the most common grinding operation. This is a finishing process that uses a rotating abrasive wheel to smooth flat surfaces of metallic or non-metallic materials to give them a more refined appearance by removing oxide layers and debris from the surface of the workpiece. It will also allow you to get the desired surface for functional purposes.

:: Read more : Surface grinding the old fashioned way


The PLC plane grinder consists of an abrasive wheel, a working holder called a handle and a reciprocating or rotary table. The gripper holds the material in place. it is being worked on. It can do this one of two ways: ferromagnetic pieces are held in place by a magnetic chuck, while non-ferromagnetic and nonmetallic pieces are held in place by vacuum or mechanical means. A machine vise (made from ferromagnetic steel or cast iron) placed on the magnetic chuck can be used to hold non-ferromagnetic workpieces if only a magnetic chuck is available.


Factors to consider in surface grinding are the material of the grinding wheel and the material of the piece being worked on.

Typical workpiece materials include cast iron and mild steel. These two materials don't tend to clog the grinding wheel while being processed. Other materials are aluminum, stainless steel, brass and some plastics. When grinding at high temperatures, the material tends to become weakened and is more inclined to corrode. This can also result in a loss of magnetism in materials where this is applicable.

The grinding wheel is not limited to a cylindrical shape and can have countless options that are useful in transferring different geometries to the workpiece. The operator can dress simple wheels to obtain non-standard geometries. When grinding the workpiece surface, please note that the shape of the disc will be transferred to the workpiece material like an inverted image.

Spike is the term used when looking for precision values ​​and literally means "until the sparks disappear (no more)". It consists in the fact that the workpiece under the disc is moved, without resetting the depth of cut, more than once and usually many times. This ensures that any non-conformities in the machine or workpiece are eliminated.

:: Read more : How to pick the best Surface Grinding Wheel





PLC surface grinder with electromagnetic chuck, inset shows manual magnetic chuck.

The PLC plane grinder is a machine tool used to provide precision ground surfaces, either to a critical size or for the surface finish.

The typical accuracy of a PLC plane grinder depends on the type and application, however, on most PLC plane grinders, ± 0.002 mm (± 0.0001 inch) should be achieved.

The machine consists of a table that moves both along and across the face of the wheel. The longitudinal feed is usually hydraulically powered, as is the cross feed, however, any mixture of manual, electric or hydraulic may be used depending on the end use of the machine (ie, Manufacturing, workshop, cost). The grinding wheel rotates in the spindle head and is also height adjustable by any of the methods described above. Modern PLC plane grinders are semi-automatic, the cutting depth and sparkout can be preset for the number of passes, and once set, the machining process requires very little operator intervention.

Depending on the material of the workpiece, the work is usually held by a magnet chuck. This may be either an electromagnetic chuck, or a manually operated, permanent magnet type chuck; both types are shown in the first image.

The machine is suitable for the application of coolant as well as for suction of metal dust (metal and grinding particles).


Types of PLC plane grinders

PLC plane grinding machines with horizontal spindle (peripheral)

The periphery (flat edge) of the wheel is in contact with the workpiece to form a flat surface. Peripheral grinding is used for very precise work on straight flat surfaces; tapered or curved surfaces; slots; flat surfaces by the shoulders; recessed surfaces; and profiles


Vertical spindle grinders (disc)

The face of the wheel (cup, cylinder, disc or segment wheel) is used on a flat surface. Face grinding is often used to remove material quickly, but some machines can perform high-precision work. The workpiece is held on a reciprocating table that can be changed depending on the task, or on a rotary table machine with continuous or indexed rotation. Indexing allows one station to be loaded or unloaded while grinding operations are performed on the other.


Disc and double disc grinders.

Disc grinding is similar to surface grinding, but with a larger contact area between the wheel and the workpiece. Disc grinders are available with a vertical and horizontal spindle. Double disc grinders work simultaneously on both sides of the workpiece. Disc grinders are able to achieve particularly close tolerances.


Grinding wheels for PLC plane grinders

Main article: grinding wheel

Aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, diamond and cubic boron nitride (CBN) are four commonly used abrasives for grinding wheel surfaces. Of these materials, alumina is the most common. For reasons of cost, diamond and CBN grinding wheels are usually manufactured with a less expensive core material surrounded by a diamond or CBN layer. Diamond and CBN wheels are very hard and are suitable for the economic grinding of materials such as ceramics and carbides that cannot be ground with alumina or silicon carbide wheels.

As with any grinding operation, the condition of the disc is extremely important. Dressers are used to maintain the condition of the grinding wheel, they can be mounted on a table or mounted in the grinding wheel head, where they can be easily applied.



See also: Cutting fluid

Lubricants are sometimes used to cool the workpiece and wheel, lubricate the interface, and remove chips (chips). It must be applied directly to the cutting area to ensure that fluid does not get carried over by the grinding wheel. Typical lubricants include water-soluble chemical fluids, water-soluble oils, synthetic oils, and petroleum-based oils. The type of lubricant used depends on the material of the workpiece and is shown in the table below.


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