Grinding Machine Tools Guide

About Grinding Machine Tools

A grinding machine tool, or shortened to a grinding machine or grinder, is a powerful machine tool that utilizes a high-speed abrasive wheel to produce flat, cylindrical or other surfaces.

Grinding machine tools are used to finish work pieces, yielding high surface quality (e.g., reducing surface roughness), and high accuracy of dimension and shape. Grinding is in fact one of the most widely accepted finishing method because it is capable of removing material in very small size of chips from 0.25 to 0.50 mm. Grinding machines are also able to yield accuracy in dimension of 0.000025 mm.

The grinding machine is comprised of a bed that holds and guides the work piece, as well as a power-driven grinding wheel that can be adjusted in speed. Some of the common types of grinding machines include surface grinding machine (for flat surfaces) and cylindrical grinding machines (for cylindrical surfaces). For more complex shaped surface, grinding machine tools like the bench and pedestal grinders are also used.


Working Principle of Grinding Machine tool

Grinding machines are controlled by a stepless speed regulation system, which allows the grinding speed (or the spinning speed of the grinding wheel) to be adjusted for various surfaces. The grinding time as well as the number of grinding cycles can also be accurately set and controlled based on the operation requirements. During the operation, users can adjust the pressure mode, and set an automatic alarm for when the grinding set time or certain lap speed is reached (usually done when semi-automatic operation is required).

The speed of the grinding machine tool is determined by the diameter of the grinding wheel as well as the manufacturer’s rating. The work piece is typically held in a stationary manner so that the grinding head can travel across the fixed work piece. Conversely, the work piece can be moved along the grinding head as it stays in fixed position.

When working, material is removed from the surface of the work piece by abrasion. As the work piece is fed against the spinning abrasive wheel, the friction between the work piece and the grinding wheel allows material to be removed.

During this process, a substantial amount of heat can be generated, which is why a coolant is often incorporated with the grinding machine so that it does not overheat and go beyond the acceptable tolerance, protecting the workers from possible burns. In highly precise grinding (usually for cylindrical surfaces), so little heat is generated that the temperature rise is relatively insignificant, eliminating the need for coolant.


Application of Grinding Machine Tools

A grinding machine features a spinning grinding wheel and can be used for many manufacturing applications:

Automotive:
Some of the common automotive parts that incorporate grinding include brake pistons, hydraulic steering pistons, brake cylinders, selector shafts, spline and gear shafts, camshafts, connecting rods, and crank shafts. Grind machines are able to enhance the concentricity of the component shaft to its centerline, ascertaining that accompanying diameters are coordinated with one another. For certain automotive applications, camshaft grinders may be required.

Medical:
Grinding machines are also widely used in the medical industry. Medical equipment like surgical drills, hip stems, hip balls, drill bits, etc., are all produced by grinding.

Aerospace:
Aerospace industry uses grinding machines extensively as well because the workpiece materials are known for being too tough to be handled by conventional cutting tools. These materials are essential for making up the aerospace engines that are both robust and high temperature resistant. But this also means that these materials can be difficult to machine and require exceptional grinding operation and oversight. You also need to be particularly precise with the grinding for aerospace components like the turbine shafts, turbine rings and so on.

Machine Tool Manufacturers:
Components of manufacturing machine tools like the spindles, ball screws, roller bearings, linear guideways, cams, racks, pistons, etc., are all produced by grinding machines. 

Molds and Dies:
Grinding machine tools are also used to produce all types of molds and dies, including stamping dies, thread dies, draw dies, press brake tools, as well as many other die components.

Tooling Industry:
In tooling industry, an industry closely associated with the die and mold industry, also requires precision grinding to produce tools like jaw chucks, step drills, drill points, reamers, taps, profile inserts, collets and ring gages. The reason why tooling industry relies on dedicated grinding machines is because the conventional machining methods could degrade the tolerances and surface quality of the tool parts. A grinding machine, on the other hand, can undertake the dressing process frequently to keep the cutting edges of the abrasive sharp, yielding superb finishing and close dimensional accuracy.

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