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.
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.