QUALITY CERTIFICATIONS FOR MANUFACTURING DIAMOND GRINDING WHEELS AND TOOLS

Posted by Thursday, November 21st, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

Abrasive Technology maintains industry quality certifications for the general industrial, medical, dental, electronics, oil & gas, aerospace and stone/lapidary markets. We manufacture superior diamond grinding wheels and tools for applications including grinding, sharpening, polishing and drilling.

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BEST PRACTICES OF POLISHING STONE WITH DIAMONDS: HANDPADS

Posted by Wednesday, November 21st, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

handpad-

Diamond handpads come in a variety of shapes, but the rectangular 2 1/4” x 4” format is by far the most popular version since it fits so easily in the palm of the hand. The handpad consists of a diamond section (small islands of diamonds on a flexible layer that permit a certain amount of flexibility) glued onto a foam support. The diamond islands are available in two basic forms:

  • Electroplated: grits range from coarse grit sizes such as #30 to fine sizes such as #1200. The most popular grit sizes for marble being #70, #220, and #400.
  • Resin bond: grit ranging in size from #600 through #3500.

Resin bond products have no scratching ability of their own other than the diamond itself. The resin base only holds the diamonds in place, making them ideal for polishing applications. The diamonds produce successively finer scratch patterns until the patterns become so small that to the human eye, the surface appears polished. As every fabricator knows, nothing is more frustrating than to finish a job and then notice scratches still present on the surface. Resin bonds are generally less “aggressive” than electroplated metal bonds. They are more forgiving and therefore do not leave large, undesirable scratches.

Sample Applications

For a typical job that calls for polishing a rough cut granite edge, try this procedure: in succession, use the electroplated #70, #120, #220, and #400 grits followed by the resin bond #600, #800, #1800, and #3500 sizes. This sequence will produce a glossy finish on almost any stone. Note that when working with marble or granite, an additional buffing sequence will bring out the full gloss of the stone.

For special applications, very fine grit diamond hand pads (8000 and smaller) or very coarse grit pads are available. For grits finer than #400, the most economical encapsulation method is resin bond because, as I mentioned above, they’re more forgiving than electroplated metal bond.

Important Considerations for Custom Handpads

Manufacturers can deliver a custom solution for every stone-cutting preference and need. When diamond handpads are tailored for each aspect of a job, manufacturers pay close attention to these important considerations:

  • Rigidity – important to maintain a flat, mirror like surface on products such as counter or table tops. Hand pads used for these surfaces are generally made with foam handles and offer the best characteristics of an all-around tool.
  • Flexibility – key to those who polish rounded surfaces such as bullnoses or ogee shapes. Diamond handpad material is available from manufacturers and can be cut into strips of any size. These strips can be fastened with hook-and-loop backing to specially shaped forms which mirror the shape of the finished edge.
  • Ruggedness – essential for heavy-material removal, such as tile edging and sizing, or even rough work on hard stones. Although still foam-mounted, custom handpads can be made on very rigid substrates with much larger diamond islands, allowing them to withstand the greater pressure.

Water is Essential to Diamond Hand Pads

For a better finish and to extend the life of the handpad, be sure to use water while polishing. Although some work can be done dry, water offers important benefits. For example, because resin bond diamond handpads are particularly intolerant of heat, water is an essential accompaniment. The water not only rinses away the cuttings (dirty water) from the stone’s surface, it also cools the diamonds and prevents the resin base from overheating.

The Power of Orbital Pads

Any time hand pads are the best tool for the job, orbital pads are the only power alternative to consider. Orbital pads are mechanically powered, and therefore offer relief from excessive arm muscle fatigue. The power tool to which they are attached should have a “jitterbug” or vibratory type of motion. This is important because if more work is done with one grit versus another (because the arm gets tired), the finished stone will not display an even degree of reflectivity and could translate to poor workmanship. Orbital pads are larger than hand pads and are available in the same grit sizes. They are also available in a wide variety of dimensions to match the power tools being used.

Don’t Work Too Hard

There’s no question a shop can experience solid benefits from the proper use of diamond hand pads. The fabricator should be able to profit by:

  • Saving time
  • Achieving consistent finishes
  • Increasing productivity
  • Reducing costs

The single most important thing to remember when using diamond hand pads – let the diamonds do the work.  In other words, don’t treat a diamond hand pad like one made of silicon carbide. Forcing the hand pad to work harder than necessary will only decrease its useful life.

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CHAMPIONS OF DIAMOND AND CBN GRINDING WHEELS AND TOOLS

Posted by Thursday, November 1st, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

Here’s a quick view of how Abrasive Technology internally shared the global team’s experience, ingenuity and craftsmanship in its work with diamond and cBN grinding wheels and tools.

The company hosted a We Champion Superabrasives Expo at its Lewis Center Headquarters and showcased electroplated, resin, and P.B.S.® braze bond tools manufactured in facilities around the globe.

Abrasive Technology is a global leader in superabrasive tooling, working in markets including aerospace, oil & gas, dental, medical, general industrial, composites, electronics, stone and more.  To learn how AT can solve your toughest tooling challenges, visit our website.

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SHARING ELECTROPLATED BOND TECHNOLOGY WITH FUTURE ENGINEERS

Posted by Friday, September 14th, 2012 @ 10:09 am

Abrasive Technology welcomed students from The Ohio State University College of Engineering to its Central Ohio headquarters for a Shadow Day.  Students spent a hands-on day with AT engineers and team members learning about how a superabrasive tool is manufactured – from the order first being placed all the way to the finished diamond tool leaving the facility.

Students ended the day with a basic understanding of the electroplated bonding process, as well as their own personalized diamond saw blade.

Abrasive Technology and The Ohio State University share a commitment of excellence in the field of engineering and a passion for continuing education for a smarter manufacturing workforce.

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WHY CUSTOM GRINDING SOLUTIONS ARE BEST FOR FRICTION MATERIALS

Posted by Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

About a year ago I decided I needed reading glasses – my arms got too short.  I went to the big box discount store and picked a pair.  Yep, I could read better.  However, I still had sore eyes and headaches, so I made an appointment to visit an optometrist.  He checked my eyes and asked about my reading and computer use habits, then tailored a prescription exactly to my needs.  Now, I can not only read better, but I no longer have eye pain or headaches.

Choosing a grinding solution for your friction materials is no different.  You can purchase an off-the-shelf grinding wheel that will do the job, but to maximize your process and throughput, it’s best to work directly with the grinding wheel manufacturer to build a custom wheel.

Identifying your needs and goals – grinding cost (wheel price/parts ground), process output (parts/minute) and wheel set up time – will help narrow the field of choices.  Once the main conditions are identified, you’re on your way to an optimized grinding wheel solution.

drum Going with a custom wheel will allow you to choose between bond types — electroplated and braze bond -– to improve flexibility and function.  Electroplated grinding wheels can have a lower purchase price and are more easily re-plated (further reducing price) than braze bonds.  However, braze bonds can have longer wheel life and faster cutting speeds due to their higher bond strength and the ability to vary diamond concentration over a wide range.

Specifying the best wheel for a given grinding process also requires an understanding of the friction materials properties and the grinding process conditions.

Friction Materials Properties:  Friction materials are materials used to generate frictional forces.  There are two main categories — sintered materials and paper materials.  Sintered materials consist of a blend of various metal and non-metal powders that are pressed and heated to form a rough shape. This is often the first step in manufacturing a brake pad or brake shoe.  Paper products are combinations of pulp and resins more commonly used for clutch plates. Variation in materials and consolidation process conditions yield end products which require different grinding wheel constructions.

Grinding Process Conditions: Diamond abrasive grinding products, mainly drums, face wheels and saw blades, are used to successfully finish friction materials.  Diamond grinding wheel constructions are as wide ranging as the friction materials themselves.  Common variables include diamond type, diamond mesh size, amount of diamond per area, slotting and bond type (electroplated vs. brazed).

Delivering custom grinding solutions takes expertise and the ability to manufacture a wide range of grinding wheels. This process yields the best results when there is collaboration between the friction material manufacturer and the grinding wheel manufacturer.

Abrasive Technology is a leading manufacturer of electroplated and P.B.S.® brazed grinding wheels.  If you would like our expert engineers to address your Friction Materials Grinding challenges,Ask an Engineer  and someone will be with you in 24 hours.

 

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