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A universal wheel dresser, also known as a universal tool grinder, is a device that is used to sharpen the abrasive wheels, in order to ensure the best performance of those abrasive wheels during the grinding process.
The universal wheel dresser doesn’t serve for the machining processes directly. Instead, it helps make the cutting tools in a good condition, so that these tools are capable of presenting the best results after cutting through the workpieces.
Hence, although this device doesn’t directly participate in the machining processes, it plays a vital role for the smoothness as well as the perfection of the products that are made by the grinding wheels.
A grinding wheel, which is what the universal wheel grinder mainly works for, is a type of cutting tools that is in charge of conducting the secondary machining processes, which are to refine the final products by removing the chips or burrs out off the surfaces of the intermediate products.
The grinding wheel consists of the abrasive grains and the bonds. When the wheel contact the intermediate products, the abrasive grains degrade, and the chips and burrs are cut out at the same time. With the new sharp abrasive grains being exposed, the grinding work can be continued.
However, once it starts to take long to finish the grinding work, or there is no obvious variation before and after the products are ground, it shows sign that the grinding wheel start to become dull. In other words, it means that the grinding wheel has to be sharpened.
There are a variety of wheel dressers that are all available for performing the sharpening of the grinding wheels, such as the universal wheel dressers, dressing rolls, dressing spindles, dressing sticks, impregnated tools, or grit dressing tools. Among all of these wheel dressers, the universal wheel dressers surpass others with the specific machines that come in several practical design and functions that they contain, which make them universal for sharpening different kinds of grinding wheels.
Unlike other dressing tools that are applied for sharpening the grinding wheels, the universal wheel dresser is an individual machine, which consists of a wheel guard, an inverted base, adapters, a holder attachment, a concave radius attachment, and swing stops.
● Wheel guard
The wheel guard is the component that holds and secures the grinding wheel when it is mounted on the wheel dresser and ready to be dressed, which can be regarded as a form of work holding system.
● Inverted base
The inverted base is the base of the universal wheel dresser, which provides a surface for the grinding wheel to be dressed. Unlike the general machines that have bases on the horizontal surfaces, the inverted base is specially designed as the configuration of a wheel, which allows for the wheel to be perfectly fitted onto this device.
The adapters are applied for accommodate to the grinding wheels that come in slightly different forms, or with different requirements, such as to dress the inside diameter or outside diameter of the wheel, which makes this device universal for sharpening the grinding wheels.
● Holder attachment
This attachment is applied for checking the profile of the grinding wheel after the wheel is mounted on the wheel dresser, which is part of the aligning processes for the wheel that is supposed to be dressed, in order to dress the wheel on the correct places.
● Concave radius attachment
This component is made of a U-shaped device that comes in 180 degrees, and is used to directly hold the grinding wheel inside the concave part for being dressed.
● Swing stops
As the name implies, these stops are used to make the operation of the wheel dresser suspend if it is necessary.
When a grinding wheel is frequently or improperly used for grinding the surface finishes of the metal products, the original round shape of the wheel would change. For example, a part of the wheel that is supposed to be curved becomes flat. With the universal wheel dresser, it can help dress the grinding wheel into different cross sections, either flat or curved.
In addition to help the grinding wheel return to the original shape of the grinding wheel, the reshaping process can also allow the new sharp abrasive to be exposed. This makes the grinding of the products as easy as with a new grinding wheel, as the abrasive grains become sharp again, which improves the efficiency of the grinding work accordingly.
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