Metal Grinding Wheel

What is a metal grinding wheel?

A metal grinding wheel is one type of cutting tools that cuts the chips and burrs off the semi-finished products, in order to smooth and refine the surface finishes when they are presented as the final products.

The metal grinding wheels, as the name suggests, are dedicated to grind on the metal workpieces, and these metals range from ferrous to non-ferrous materials with their own properties respectively. Therefore, the metal grinding wheels can be made of several materials, in order to accommodate to different workpieces that are supposed to be ground.

In the metal working fields, there are the primary machining processes as well as the secondary machining processes. Both of them are to cut through the workpieces to remove small to large amount of materials, while what they do are actually lightly different from each other.

The primary machining processes are more like to make the approximate contours or prototypes of the products, which requires cutting the workpieces into small parts, or producing slots and holes on the workpieces, such as sawing, milling, and drilling.

Grinding the workpieces is categorized in the secondary machining processes, since it is one of the processes that refine the semi-finished products, which are made after undergoing the primary machining processes, by making the surface finishes smoother or even presented as bright surfaces.

Considering the utility of the products, the secondary machining processes are not necessary actually. However, in the precision machining fields, these processes including grinding can not only make the final products good-looking, but also elevate the practicality of the products even more, which make the processes indispensable.


How does a metal grinding wheel form?

To form a metal grinding wheel, the two main elements are the grains and the bonds. The grains are the abrasives that contact the materials directly and conduct the grinding work, and the bonds hold each grain together in order to facilitate the smoothness of the works.

To begin with, two of the important parameters that determine the variation between each type of grinding wheels are the grit sizes and the coarseness, which decides what material is suitable to be cut. These two parameters are actually interrelated to each other.

The grit sizes refer to the sizes of each individual grain when they combine to be a grinding wheel, and this would determine the coarseness of the wheel as well. The grit sizes can be defined by calculating the number of the openings between the adjacent grains.

The higher the numbers, the finer or smaller the grit sizes, and thus leads to the less coarseness of the wheel. In contrast, the lower the numbers, the larger the grit sizes, which makes the wheel relatively coarser.

In addition, the variation between each metal grinding wheel also lies in the materials that they are made of, which include aluminum oxide, zirconia alumina, silicon carbide, and ceramic aluminum oxide.

The aluminum oxide abrasive is suitable for grinding materials with high tensile strength, such as stainless steel, carbon steel, alloy steel, high speed steel, high tensile aluminum, bronze alloys, annealed malleable iron, or wrought iron, etc.

The zirconia alumina is the oxide combination of zirconium and aluminum. To add other material into the original one means the strengthening of the original material. In other words, this composite of abrasive is even stronger and durable that allows for the requirement of high stock removal of the materials like steels or steel alloys.

The silicon carbide is specialized in either soft or hard materials, such as aluminum, cast iron, chilled iron, brass, bronze, cemented carbide, stone, rubber, or other non-ferrous materials. As for the ceramic aluminum oxide, it is strong, hard, and has the ability of self-sharpening, which makes the versatile use for a variety of materials.


How to choose the right grinding wheel?

The grit sizes and coarseness
The grit sizes, which are the number of openings between the adjacent grains, and the coarseness, which is determined by the high or low of the numbers, are categorized into one of the factors that define the choice of the wheels.

The softer wheels with finer grit sizes are suitable for hard materials that are easy to fracture, while the harder wheels with coarser grit sizes are usually applied for softer materials that are easily to be penetrated.

● The loads of stock removal
This is determined by whether the ease to penetrate through the materials. For the materials that are easy to penetrate, the coarser wheels can remove the stock quicker. While to remove the stocks on the materials that are hard to penetrate, the finer wheels can do better than the coarse ones.

● The grinding speed
The ability of the grinding wheels to withstand grinding with high speeds is related to what kind of bond is used. For instance, comparing the vitrified wheels and the Organic bond wheels, the latter can grind the materials with higher speed than the former.

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