What Is a Precision Surface Grinder?

Posted on Apr 19, 2021

Precision Surface Grinder

A precision surface grinder is a fully automatic grinding machine that can eliminate the oxide layer of the flat surfaces of the materials, and also the impurities. Precision surface grinders are able to attain high quality, perfectly flat, and smooth face by cutting chips from the workpieces with high precision.

What Is Surface Grinding?

Grinding, which is also known as abrasive cutting, is a metalworking operation to remove materials from the workpieces which are located on the central axis under rotation. By abrasion, a large variety of grinding machines can employ the high-quality grinding wheel to create customized contours, such as cylinder, cam, crankshaft, and ellipse products. Among various grinding machines, the surface grinder is the classic and most usual machine tool used across industries. There is a fully automatic surface grinder, semi-auto, and also manual type in the market, the fully automatic, high precision surface grinder typically utilizes the CNC technology or hydraulic system to perform a high-performance surface grinding process. With an extremely tight tolerance, these surface grinder machines can form smooth surface finishes on a broad range of metals as well as for non-metallic materials.


What Is a Precision Surface Grinder?

A precision surface grinder is a fully automatic grinding machine that can eliminate the oxide layer of the flat surfaces of the materials, and also the impurities. Using a circular wheel that spins consistently under the control, the rough particles on the grinding wheel are the key to cut and remove the materials from the surfaces. When it comes to the working area within the precision surface grinder, there is a feed table where the materials are clamped. The table is actually movable, advancing to left or right in the same straight line under the grinding wheel which keeps rotating. 

Precision surface grinders cut chips from the workpieces with high precision, one of the universal features of the grinders is to provide high quality, perfectly flat, and smooth face. On top of that, another goal of a precision surface grinder is to offer highly accurate production of the ground surface. The high precision surface grinding process can achieve the tolerance of ±0.002 mm.

:: Read more: Advanced CNC Surface Grinder Considerations


Different Types of Surface Grinders

Precision surface grinders come in two forms, which are the horizontal spindle type and the vertical spindle type:

Horizontal Spindle Type: In a horizontal spindle precision surface grinder, the grinding wheel’s flat and periphery cutting edges directly impact and cut into the stocks. Horizontal spindle type of surface grinders is greatly suitable for high-performance grinding on angular or recessed surfaces, tapers as well as standard flat surfaces and creating other metal profiles. Compared to another style, the horizontal spindle type is more suitable for providing precision surface grinding tasks.

Vertical Spindle Type: On the other hand, in a vertical spindle surface grinder, the face of the rotating wheel directly contacts the flat surfaces instead of the cutting edge. Different from the horizontal spindle type, this style of automatic surface grinding is more suitable for fast material removal and other more accurate grinding jobs. Workpieces can be clamped on a reciprocating table or a rotary table mounted on the surface grinders.


Construction of Precision Surface Grinder

Automatic precision surface grinding machines utilizing CNC or hydraulic systems are widely used in metalworking environments today. The surface grinding machine has around the grinding wheel spinning on the horizontal axis, typically, and cutting the workpiece which is held by the chuck on a reciprocating or rotary table.


● Feed Table:

The table advances linearly and also across the face of the abrasive wheel during the precision surface grinding operations. The longitudinal feed is generally powered by a hydraulic system, on the other hand, the crossfeed is often driven by an electric, hydraulic system, or even regulated manually.


● Grinding Wheel:

The grinding wheel is one of the most important components in a precision surface grinder. The round wheel rotates in the spindle head, and the height of it can be adjusted to meet the operational requirements. The condition, as well as the material the grinding wheel is made from, is essential to affect the performance of precision surface grinding machines. In general, the abrasive wheel is made from aluminum oxide, cubic boron, silicon carbide, and diamond. The most economic one among them, aluminum oxide, is the most preferred grinding wheel material. 

To reduce the cost but enhance the functionality, many manufacturers use less expensive alternatives in the core of cubic boron nitride wheel and diamond grinding wheel. The grinding wheel which is made from diamond or cubic boron nitride is ideally strong, which is better suited for grinding ceramics, carbides, and more tough materials that are typically difficult for other kinds of an abrasive wheel. To always maintain the best condition of the grinding wheels, dressers are used to refresh the surface of the component and the balancing stands are used to detect and improve the imbalances relative to the tolerance, the parallelism, the concentricity, as well as the wear of the grinding wheel.


● Controller:

To automatically produce highly accurate and efficient surface grinding, many precision surface grinders employ a CNC system to fully regulate the desired depth of the cut and the sparks. The values are predetermined and set up simply. In addition, the last grinding cycle setting can be saved and repeated simply next time. With the servo control, the precision surface grinding machine can provide products with excellent, smooth surface finishes and critical dimensions.


● Chuck:

The chuck is the work-holding device that grips the ground parts firmly. In precision surface grinders, a magnetic chuck is widely used. The clamping device can be electromagnetic, or a permanent form that needs to be manually operated. 


● Coolant and Lubricants:

Lubricants are required in operations of precision surface grinder, which can not only smoothen the cutting and face of the grinding wheel but remove the metal chips formed during operations. In some cases, lubrication can also cool down the working wheel as well as the workpieces. The lubricants are mostly directly applied to the grinding area to keep the liquid from carrying away by the rotation of the component. Some common lubricants working with precision surface grinding machines include water-soluble oils, petroleum-based oils, synthetic oils, and other chemical fluids.


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