What Is a CNC Cylindrical Grinder?

Posted on Jan 1, 2021

CNC Cylindrical Grinder

The CNC cylindrical grinder can not only be available for producing shapes like cylinders, but also shapes including cam, ellipse, or crankshaft. Some products that are commonly produced by the CNC grinding machines include pipes, rigid bearings, rods, bushings, and more accurate and complex components.

What Is a CNC Cylindrical Grinder Used for?

A CNC cylindrical grinder, which is also called a CNC cylindrical grinding machine, is one type of precision grinders that are widely used for removing materials to shape the outside profile of metal parts. The grinding process is also known as abrasive cutting, which uses a wide variety of abrasive wheels to shear the surfaces of the metal pieces under rotation. The workpieces are generally placed on the central axis in a CNC cylindrical grinder machine and are cut to create a wide range of shapes. 

CNC Cylindrical grinders can be basically divided into 2 subcategories, including the center grinding type and the centerless grinding type. More details of the different types of CNC cylindrical grinding machines will be discussed later. In some modern cylindrical grinders, there are multiple grinding wheels that can be automatically altered to precisely remove the materials and create the features. 

In typical cylindrical grinding equipment, there are four essential working motions, including the consistent rotation of the holding works, the consistent rotation of the grinding wheels, the back-and-forth movement of the grinding wheels which are fed to the workpiece, and last but not least, the transverse motions between the workpieces and the wheels. Although there are some grinding machines that can only perform three of the four operations, most modern CNC cylindrical grinders are capable of completing the four movements in production.
 

Applications of a CNC Cylindrical Grinder

The CNC cylindrical grinder can not only be available for producing shapes like cylinders, but also shapes including cam, ellipse, or crankshaft. Some products that are commonly produced by the CNC grinding machines include pipes, rigid bearings, rods, bushings, and more accurate and complex components. In other applications where a great precision level is required in the metalworking industry, CNC cylindrical grinder will be an effective and reliable solution for automotive, aerospace parts manufacturing, and even for some military applications.

How Does a CNC Cylindrical Grinder Work?
For starters, when it comes to the motion control of all kinds of cylindrical grinding machines, there are three motion control ways including the CNC type (computer numerical control), the NC type (numerical control), and the conventional manually-operated type. However, the NC type and the manual type are now very rare in the metalworking industries because the CNC cylindrical grinder can provide high precision and reliable grinding operations with fully programmable commands. To meet the customized requirements, the mechanists can adjust the setting in relation to the dimensions as well as the accurate measurements of the ground products. Without human supervision, the CNC system can ensure precise control in cylindrical grinding processes.

The construction of the CNC cylindrical grinding machine consists of the work holding element to guide and secure the metal parts, one or more different grinding wheels which are powered to rotate at the correct speed. As the grinding head travels around the stationary clamped parts, or in some cases, the parts are guided on the axis to be shaped by the fixed grinding head. The operational speed is affected considerably by the diameters and the materials and quality of the abrasive wheels.

In most grinding production in a CNC cylindrical grinder, there is a great amount of heat generated during the cutting. It is essential to cool down both the workpieces being ground and also the tools and the whole machines to reduce the risks of overheating and lower tolerance. Therefore, typical cylindrical grinding machines incorporate the coolant systems, but in some utmost high precision grinding applications where there is only a small amount of materials are removed, the cooling element can be removed from the machines to save the cost.
 

:: Read More: Cylindrical Grinding Machines - The Pros and Cons Explained!

Different Types of Cylindrical Grinder Machine

The CNC cylindrical grinder machines used today can be basically divided, but not limited to the outside diameter type, the inside diameter type, and the centerless grinding type.

The outside diameter and inside diameter grinding machines are two types of center grinding type of CNC cylindrical grinders. An outside diameter cylindrical grinder cuts against the external surface between the centers as the metal part rotates. The centers mentioned here are end elements with a point, permitting the products to be rotated. The grinding wheel in contact with the parts in the grinder is rotating in the same direction, achieving smooth grinding and less stoppage. As for the inside diameter type, the grinding wheel is much smaller than the holes being ground in an inside diameter cylindrical grinder. The metal parts are stationary under rotation, and the contacting surfaces are spinning in opposite directions.

On the other hand, the centerless cylindrical grinders place the workpiece at the holding work platform between the grinding wheels. The two grinding wheels around the workpieces rotate in the same direction but at different rates. The two wheels are known as the grinding wheel and the regulating wheel respectively. The grinding wheel is fixed on the axis, applying the pressure to the work, while the regulating wheel is adjustable. The regulating wheel applies lateral pressure to the workpiece in the centerless grinding process, which has rough abrasive particles that can trap the workpiece. These centerless cylindrical grinding equipment are better suited for applications that have automated load, offering efficient grinding production.

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