A reoccurring challenge I confront when visiting customers using superabrasive OD (outer diameter) grinding wheels is variations in performance among wheels. They want a consistent, sustainable (both in price and wheel life) wheel that grinds the same every time.
To produce an OD grinding wheel with a width of greater than 2”, individual 1” wheels are made and then glued together to form the desired width (with a goal of producing identical 1″ pieces for consistency).
However, consistency can prove challenging. Assuming that the bond and superabrasive are properly prepared, the manufacturing process will likely include variations in:
- Mold setup when multiple molds are used
- Hot press equipment used
- Uniformity of pressure around the molded band
- Temperature ramp up & consistency
- Procedure of loading the molds
- Procedure of pressing the mold
- Bond density when compacting the loose powder matrix
Add the facts that different operators run machines at different times and there’s limited QC domumentation of the pressing cycle from wheel to wheel, it is easy to see that achieving absolute consistency in each 1″ piece is difficult. And when multiple wheels are then glued together to make one large wheel, it’s no wonder machinists can encounter variations in wheel performance.
In order to solve these inconsistencies, I suggest using a solution that:
- Is computer-controlled
- Develops one uniform wheel rather than several individual wheels pressed together
- Creates uniform density from OD to ID and from side-to-side
- Relies on QC process documentation, which shows the precise process for each individual wheel.
- A whole-system approach to ensuring consistency is your best bet when OD grinding. By using a solution that follows these guidelines, you can be assured that each wheel is the same as the one that you ordered last time.
Abrasive Technology’s patented VFLex® OD Grinding Wheel is made with a computer-controlled process to achieve uniform density throughout the entire abrasive section. Learn about the VFlex® process by selecting Centerless Grinding Wheel Flyer.
If you have a question about a grinding or tooling challenge, please don’t hesitate to Ask an Engineer now!