Ceramic Grinder

Grinding is the most common name used to define a machining process that uses tools composed of abrasive particles to facilitate material removal. Traditionally, it is considered a finishing process that can provide reduced surface roughness values ​​and narrow dimensional and geometric tolerance ranges. Operating a ceramic grinder is quite a different beast compared to conventional grinding operations, in which the grinding wheel extracts material, though thin, by forming chips. Ceramic is a material that allows itself to be ground only at a certain rate, which means you could possibly grind it faster, but if you grind it for a good quality part outside the usually defined parameters, you'll potentially put cracks and chips in it. Ceramic Grinders, or in general grinders suitable for grinding ceramics are high-tech machines as grinding ceramics poses a challenge for manufacturers and suppliers. Let us talk about why that is the case.

Grinding Ceramics is a Challenge

The mechanism of material removal via a ceramic grinder is one of brittle fracture, not ductile flow. However, he added that the crack must be very shallow to prevent premature failure of the part. In the ceramic sintering process, the shrinkage of the material cannot be completely avoided. Therefore, the material needs to be machined appropriately to achieve the required shape and geometric tolerances of the part. Therefore, the material removal mechanism in the ceramic grinding process is very different from the classical grinding theory. In the above case, chip removal is accomplished by elastoplastic modifications in the so-called ductile grinding. In the brittle grinding of ceramics, the material is removed by the formation, separation, and peeling of cracks. Reducing the applied load results in a reduction in size and closure of longitudinal cracks, in which compressive stress prevails. The subsequent load drop resulted in the formation of transverse cracks due to lateral stress. After unloading the workpiece of a ceramic grinder, due to the generation of residual tensile stress field, the size of the transverse crack increases, which may cause the material in the form of chips to separate and peel off.

Precision Ceramic Grinders in the Manufacturing Industry

Ceramic is a very hard material, and special tools are needed to properly grind it. Ceramic grinders use grinding wheels made from metal. This is a grinding wheel with small metal flakes of aluminum oxide, stuck like sandpaper on the top. It will grind tiles or objects accurately. Ceramics are little known in the high-tech world. Most application engineers do not consider ceramics to be a stable material for manufacturing parts. However, ceramics have entered some of the most difficult applications and environments in the technical field. From aerospace to wear-resistant pump drives and rotors, to solar applications, and even as a component of underground oil and gas exploration in the depths of the earth, when high temperatures, dimensional stability, corrosion resistance, and electrical insulation are required. The term ceramics encompasses many different materials. There are many compositions for different applications. With cost control as the driving force, ordinary workshops only need to learn some basic knowledge to start using ceramic grinders for basic materials, such as Macor, aluminum silicate, boron nitride, and other glass mica composite materials.

Tooling and Ceramic Grinders

Choosing the right tool for your ceramic grinder be the most complicated part of the learning process. Contact your current supplier because they will provide you with some of the best insights. For most ceramics, solid carbide tools are the best choice. Compared with four and six flutes, two edge milling cutters can cut more freely. Some softer ceramics may be fired in half or partially, and the density is not high. Although they can be processed freely, these materials are highly abrasive and wear out faster than dense machinable glass ceramics. For these materials, use gold-plated burrs for milling and drilling. The price of these tools will be higher, but because they will not wear like cemented carbide, the service life is surprisingly long. All diamond tools will require the use of coolant so that there is no mud/powder in the tool to maintain its machinability. Whether it is a solid carbide tool or a gold-plated diamond tool, wet machining of ceramics is always helpful to keep the workpiece and tool cool. This will extend tool life and reduce material stress. The resistance of processed ceramics is related to the unwillingness to expose the machine tool to this abrasive material. However, if you are going to exclusively use a CNC knee milling machine/milling machine or an older machine tool, the benefits will outweigh the wear and tear of the machine tool. Remember, if you are wearing a ceramic grinder, you should bring enough business to ensure dedicated equipment and settings.

How to transition to Ceramic Grinding

If you have an old CNC sitting in the corner of the store, it may be more advantageous to use it as a ceramic grinder for this type of R&D project than to let some auctioneers hardly buy it. Moreover, ceramics are generally not made into large parts because the material is generally not intended to be used as the main part structure. They are usually used in insulator applications in specific areas of the target component. The issue is that ceramics are usually small components and do not require large, expensive machines. Given that ceramics are difficult to machine, the average component can only work with a maximum of two or three axes. But even if they are not sophisticated, higher profit margins can be achieved, as few stores are willing to broaden their product range to include ceramic materials. In many cases, you cannot avoid exiting the workpiece, but if you leave excess material on the outer diameter or contour of the workpiece, you can remove all defects as the last step and produce a chip-free part. Daughter boards are indispensable for any straight-through feature, and they are a good method of fixing the workpiece together. Because ceramics are not magnetic, a magnetic chuck cannot be used to fix the workpiece. A good choice is to enclose the magnetic chuck on the ceramic with metal wool, or punch the bottom plate.

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