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An aluminum grinding wheel is a kind of grinding wheels that the materials that make it up contain aluminum inside. The aluminum grinding wheels are versatile, as they can be various forms of alloys, and durable, as their hardness and strength can be enhanced when being mixed with other elements.
Grinding wheels are one of the practical accessories in the metalworking fields, since they are usually used for making the surface finishes of the products smoother in the final process of the machining works.
In the metalworking fields, metals can be machined to produced a variety of products in the automotive, aerospace, pumping system, or the frameworks of any kinds of metal products, etc.
Besides, the completion of the products should takes either simple or intricate procedures, such as drilling, milling, turning, threading, and grinding, to name a few, depending on the requirements of the customers.
In other words, the machining of metals not only requires different techniques to fulfill the customers’ need, but also have to allow the workpieces to undergo more precise procedures, in order to make the desired geometries of the products.
Among so many precision machining works, grinding is one of the vital process, since it is able to apply either a small or large piece of grinding wheel to make the perfection of the products even more, which is definitely indispensable in the metalworking fields.
Similar to other types of grinding wheels, the aluminum grinding wheel is comprised of the bonding matrix and the abrasive grains. Between these two components, the aluminum material is in the abrasive grains.
The bonding matrix is arranged around the abrasive grains, which holds the abrasive grains in place, and allows the protruding abrasive grains to be exposed so as to make the contacting surface between the grinding wheel and the workpiece.
These bonds can be categorized in hard and soft, or inorganic and organic bonds. The hard inorganic bonds such as clay or vitreous are suitable for medium or small scale of grinding works, as they work slower but provide smoother and more precise performance.
In contrast, the soft organic bonds such as rubber, shellac, or resin are recommended to be applied for the heavier metal removal, as they work with better efficiency, while they tend to wear more quickly than the former type.
As for the aluminum contained abrasive grains, their performances are determined by the coarseness and fineness of the properties of them. The more coarse the abrasive grains, the quicker the grinding works, and the rougher the surface finishes. In comparison, the finer the abrasive grains, the slower the works, but the smoother the surface finishes.
As the coarseness and fineness of the abrasive grains would determine the performance of the grinding wheels, how the elements that make up the aluminum grinding wheels matters in the efficiency of these tools.
There are three main types of aluminum grinding wheels that contains aluminum as the elements of these grinding wheels, including the aluminum oxide, the ceramic aluminum oxide, and the zirconia alumina.
● aluminum oxide
This type is the most common in the aluminum grinding wheels. This type of grinding wheel is hard and sturdy, so that they cut through the workpieces relatively slower. Thus, they are more suitable for smaller scale of grinding works on softer works.
However, the aluminum oxide is less expensive than others, which make it account for the vast majority of the materials that make up the aluminum grinding wheels.
● ceramic aluminum oxide
The ceramic aluminum oxide grinding wheels are hard, sharp, and heat and pressure-resistant, which is, compared to aluminum oxide, more durable and versatile in the making of grinding wheels.
The ceramic aluminum oxide is made on the basis of the former type, which conducts a heating treatment on the aluminum oxide, in order to make the ceramic coatings around the aluminum oxide.
Since there are coatings on the outside, the aluminum oxide would be hardened, and thus results in the longer time to wear.
In addition, the ceramic aluminum abrasive grains are like glass, which fracture in an acceptable manner when they are used to grind the workpieces, and that’s the reason why they can keep sharp.
Furthermore, this type of grinding wheel can also be resistant to heat and pressure, which prolongs the durability of this type as well.
● zirconia alumina
The zirconia alumina combines the advantages of the ceramic aluminum oxide and compensate for the drawback of the aluminum oxide, since the grinding wheels that are made of zirconia alumina are able to withstand harder workpieces and perform their works fast at the same time.
This type is the mixture of aluminum oxide and zirconia oxide, which retains the properties of aluminum oxide yet added up with the properties of zirconia oxide, which make it durable and fast in the grinding works.
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