Surface Grinding Machines in the Automotive Industry

Posted on Aug 6, 2020

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Surface Grinding Machines in the Automotive Industry

The main purpose of surface grinding machines is the finishing of a manufactured part. This is a very precise tool that uses a fixed, abrasive rotating wheel to shave or trim a metal surface held in place with a vise. The table of the grinder is magnetic, which helps to keep the material stationary. Such magnets can be switched by the lever on the front side of the grinder. The grinder can be moved automatically, back and forth, or manually as needed.

Surface grinding is a common finishing technique that can produce smooth surface textures precisely. The surface grinding finish is both attractive and practical, making it a reliable technology for different applications. Technicians may also change the form of wheel and abrasive to match a range of materials, including most metals and non-metals, such as ceramics, carbides and optical materials. Unlike other molding methods, it can be ground on extremely hard or abrasive materials. In this article, we hope to discuss general surface grinding machines, focusing on some applications in automotive parts manufacturing.

 

Surface Grinding Machine and Car Parts

Although machining processes dominate in metal removal in automotive parts manufacturing, the trend toward smaller parts with higher shape and finishing tolerances has caused manufacturers to think about alternative solutions. Advances in abrasive materials and processes make this technology more suitable for a range of manufacturing applications. Cost savings can come from many sources-reducing capital expenditures, consumable tools, logistics, and cycle time. In particular, creep feeding and peeling grinding have applications suitable for the production of motor vehicles. The following is an example of customers using abrasives instead of machining processes.

Example 1: Steering Rack Processing

Although machining dominates the metal removal in the manufacture of automotive parts, the trend is for smaller and smaller parts to have higher shape and finishing tolerances, which has prompted manufacturers to consider alternatives. Advances in abrasive materials and processes make this technology more suitable for a range of manufacturing applications. There are many sources of cost savings, which can reduce capital expenditures, consumable tools, logistics, and cycle time. In particular, creep feeding and peeling grinding have applications suitable for automobile production. The following are examples of customers using abrasives instead of machining processes.

Example 2: Large Shaft Manufacturing

Instead of traditional shaft manufacturing procedures, surface grinding machines allow peel grinding operations. In this process, narrow cubic boron nitride or diamond grinding wheels work with high grinding wheels and working speeds to achieve higher removal rates. This technology can replace hard turning.

 

Types and Structural Designs of Surface Grinding Machines

Surface grinding uses a grinding wheel to grind the surface of the workpiece while rotating. The operator usually lubricates the grinding wheel first to reduce friction, and then sends the workpiece through the table in contact with the rotating abrasive. According to the specific conditions of the parts and applications, the feeding process can be guided automatically or manually. The grinding wheel has a design similar to a doughnut. The hole in the middle slides down over the top of the metal rod. Today, these machines are produced by many different manufacturers, so there are many different models to choose from. However, they still use one of the following types of structures:

Vertical Structure

These machines  and are arranged so that the flat edge of the grinding wheel is in touch with the workpiece. This results in flat shape with a smooth surface. Thanks to this configuration, these machines can be used for applications that require a flat surface, although these include the precise forming of diagonals, grooves, and grooves. The vertical spindle design has the spindle vertically up and down. The grinding wheel itself lies flat on the bottom of the spindle, so the entire width of the grinding wheel can be used for grinding objects. Generally, this design is used in situations that require processing on larger panels or plates or where a large amount of material needs to be quickly ground.

Horizontal Structure

The wheels of the horizontal spindle design are suspended above the worktable. Only the flat outer edge of the wheel will come into contact with the object held by the chuck. Thanks to the small grinding surface, you can have high precision every time you cut, which is why they are usually used when small features are required. Like there are two common types of spindles, there are also two common types of surface grinding machines, both of which only grind flat surfaces. Additionally, surface grinding machines can also be categorized into three main types based on their layouts:

Peripheral Surface grinding machines

Also referred to as horizontal spindle grinders, these machines are arranged to keep the flat periphery of the abrasive wheel in contact with the workpiece. This results in a flat shape with a smooth finish. Due to this configuration, these machines are used for applications requiring a flat surface, though that includes precision shaping of angles, slots, and recesses.

Wheel-Face Surface grinding machines

Wheel-face or vertical-spindle grinders apply the face of the abrasive wheel to the workpiece. The shape of the wheel can vary to serve workpieces of differing forms, but this type of grinder is typically instead used for quick removal of larger amounts of material.

Disc and Double-Disc Grinders

Disc grinders can be laid out in either a horizontal or vertical spindle arrangement, mimicking the peripheral and wheel-face grinders. The main difference is that disc grinders allow for a larger region of contact between the wheel and the workpiece. Double-disc grinders allow the operator to grind two sides of the workpiece simultaneously.

 

Best Materials for the Surface Grinding Wheel

One of the main reasons why surface grinding is so versatile is that the grinding wheel can be changed to suit different materials. When choosing the right flat grinding wheel, we will consider many factors, including the hardness of the workpiece and the required finish.

Some common materials for flat grinding wheels include:

• Diamonds can even be used to shape the hardest materials

• Alumina, one of the most widely used abrasives for many materials

• Cubic Boron Nitride, used for hard materials that interact negatively with diamonds

 

Surface Grinding Machines on IMTS-Exhibition.com

You can find many surface grinding machine providers on our site. Just head to our product section or check out our search function to find hundreds of manufacturers in our product database.  If you want to learn more about gray cast iron related questions and applications make sure to check out our other blog entries.

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Read More: The Critical Chain Component in Metal Machining: CNC Surface Grinder

 

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