Conventional surface grinding is one of the most critical steps in the metal finishing process, following forming, cutting and other complex metalworking process of work pieces. The primary purpose of surface grinding is to produce smooth and flat surface of the work piece. During the surface grinding process, the rough particles that populate the surface of the spinning wheel will cut off chips of metal or non-metallic materials from the work piece to provide a flat and smooth surface with the expected accuracy.
Of all grinding methods, such as cylindrical grinding, internal grinding, and centerless grinding, surface grinding has the longest history and has always been one of the most common processing methods in the industry. Its related procedures are often controlled by computer controlled system – a prevalent finishing method called CNC grinding. It uses a rotating grinding wheel to smooth the surface of metal or non-metallic work pieces. It achieves a fine effect by removing impurities and burrs on the surface of the work piece, and the entire grinding process is controlled by the CNC system.
Clamping systems and chucks are key components in the cutting process of machine tools. Although some hydraulic based clamping systems are outdated, they are still popular due to their superb functionality and practicality. Hydraulic clamping is widely used in metal processing because it is suitable for grinding, milling, EDM and other machining processes. Hydraulic technology can help achieve high precision, rigid clamping and durability. Through polishing and grinding, the desired surface of the work piece can be achieved.
Regarding the mechanical composition, the surface grinder is composed of a grinding wheel, a work piece holding device and a reciprocating worktable. During machining, the clamping device holds the work piece in place. The hydraulic clamping mechanism can be completed in two ways: one is to use a magnetic chuck to hold the ferromagnetic work piece in place. For non-ferromagnetic and non-metallic work pieces, vacuum or mechanical means can also be used to hold them.
The clamping mechanism is essential for the entire machining process, because only with a strong positioning device can the work be completed accurately. In addition, the key factors affecting surface grinding also include the material of the grinding wheel and the material of the work piece. Work piece materials can be aluminum, brass, steel, cast iron, and mild steel. Some of them are more stable in nature and will not attach to the grinding wheel during processing. Others have different physical properties that may cause corrosion, which is not ideal for industrial use.
Compared with hydraulic cylinders and hydraulic chucks, the magnetic clamping system is based on the principles of magnetism. Since clamping systems and chucks are important components of machine tools, some magnetic clamping systems are very popular due to their feature-rich and convenient nature. Magnetic clamping can be widely used in metal processing because they are suitable for grinding, milling, electrical discharge machining and even measuring. Magnetic technology enables high precision, non-deformable clamping. Through the polishing and grinding process, the required surface will be obtained to achieve the functional purpose programmed by the engineer.
Contrary to popular belief, grinding wheels are not always limited to a definite shape. Machine operators can customize the wheels for specific purposes. It is worth noting that in the surface grinding process, the shape of the grinding wheel will affect the reverse shape of the work piece, so the operator must be aware of the shape change at any time in order to immediately modify the grinding wheel to maintain the grinding quality. Since the surface grinder is a machine tool used to provide precision grinding surfaces, its purpose may be grinding of specific sizes or surface finishing.
The accuracy of the hydraulic surface grinder depends on the type and application. In most cases, the surface grinder should be able to achieve a certain accuracy value of ±0.002 mm. In order to achieve this accuracy without deforming the work piece, the operator must pay attention to the clamping of the work piece.
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