Grinding Wheel Guide

What is a Grinding Wheel?

A grinding wheel is also known as the consolidated grinding wheel. All grinding wheels are similar in the aspect of construction, which are mostly circular shaped with a through hole in the center.

A grinding wheel is comprised of abrasives that are consolidated into certain shapes by a bonding agent, which guarantees certain strength. It is often use for various grinding (i.e., abrasive cutting) and abrasive machining tasks. These wheels are specifically used in grinding machines.

The grinding wheel is the one with the most widely used grinding equipment with a extremely broad range of use. It can rotate at high speed during use, and can rough, semi-finish and fine-grind the outer circle, inner circle, flat surface and various profiles of metal or non-metal workpieces. It is also capable of slotting, cutting, etc.

Construction of Grinding Wheels

Grinding wheels are typically made from an assorted materials comprising coarse-particle aggregate, which are pressed then bonded (using the so-called cementing matrix) to form a circular, solid shape.

Grinding wheels can also be made from aluminum or steel disc with particles bonded to the surface. Most of the grinding wheels we see today are made with artificial composites derived from artificial aggregates. As a matter of fact, grinding wheels in the early days were made with natural composite stones, just as those used for millstones.

Manufacturing for Grinding Wheels

Despite the look, the manufacturing process for a grinding wheel is actually a highly precise and controlled precise, mainly attributed to its inherently hazardous nature (e.g., the spinning disc). Also, precision is also required because every discs need to be produced with uniform parameters to prevent the disc from exploding because of the high stressed generated on rotation.

As an essential part of a grinding machine, grinding wheels are consumables, meaning that they have limited life span. The life span can largely vary depending on how the grinding machine is used, ranging from less than a day to multiple years. As the wheel performs the cutting, grains of abrasives are released, typically attributed to the growing dullness as the drag pulls them out of the bond. Then, the next cycle begins as new grains are exposed in this wear process. Fortunately, the rate of wear for grinding wheels is very predictable, knowing its expected life span given the intended application is very important to yield good performance.

Common Types of Grinding Wheels

There a great many types of grinding wheels in its development history. While they come in a variety of different sizes and structure, some of the most common types of grind wheels in the market are listed below for your reference:

1. Straight Grinding Wheels:
This is the most common grinding wheels that is easily found in workshops across the world. These are known for sharpening tools, such as chisels and lawnmower blades.

2. Large Grinding Wheels:
Imagine this type of grinding wheel the larger version of the straight grinding wheels. This type of grinding wheels excels at grinding down the outer portion of the objects, like carbide blanks.  They are also widely used in oil and thermal spray industry for OD grinding. The diameter of a large grinding wheel can be as long as 36 inches.

3. Cup Wheel:
This type of grinding wheel is mostly used for polishing concrete or stones. They are however capable of more delicate operations like adhesive removal, given a smaller grit is used. Cup wheels excel at finishing and re-sharpening applications in general.

4. Dish Wheel:
This type of wheel has a thinner surface edge. The narrow and shallow nature enable dish wheels to fit into tight space other types of grinding wheels would otherwise be able to reach.

5. Segmented Grinding Wheel:
They key feature of this type of grinding wheel is the fact that the abrasives are segmented instead of having a continual abrasive rim. When this type of wheel is used with lubrication or cooling fluids, a large amount of materials can be removed rapidly without damaging the surface of the workpiece. Centrifugal force is utilized to carry the fluids to the intended area, with the canal created by each segment.

6. Cutting Face Wheel:
Cutting face grinding wheels are capable of cutting through workpieces by grinding away material. The grinding edge of this type of wheel is relatively narrow compared to other types, allowing it to take a lot of material off at once. This type of a grinding wheel is versatile in a sense that it gets used for many things from shaping saw teeth to cutting tiles.

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