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What types of surface grinder equipment?
- Apr 19, 2018 -

A surface grinder is a machine tool used to provide precision ground surfaces, either to a critical size or for the surface finish.

The typical precision of a surface grinder depends on the type and usage, however ±0.002 mm (±0.0001 in) should be achievable on most surface grinders.

The machine consists of a table that traverses both longitudinally and across the face of the wheel. The longitudinal feed is usually powered by hydraulics, as may the cross feed, however any mixture of hand, electrical or hydraulic may be used depending on the ultimate usage of the machine (i.e., production, workshop, cost). The grinding wheel rotates in the spindle head and is also adjustable for height, by any of the methods described previously. Modern surface grinders are semi-automated, depth of cut and spark-out may be preset as to the number of passes and, once set up, the machining process requires very little operator intervention.

Depending on the workpiece material, the work is generally held by the use of a magnetic chuck. This may be either an electromagnetic chuck, or a manually operated, permanent magnet type chuck; both types are shown in the first image.

The machine has provision for the application of coolant as well as the extraction of metal dust (metal and grinding particles).


Types of surface grinders

Horizontal-spindle (peripheral) surface grinders

The periphery (flat edge) of the wheel is in contact with the workpiece, producing the flat surface. Peripheral grinding is used in high-precision work on simple flat surfaces; tapers or angled surfaces; slots; flat surfaces next to shoulders; recessed surfaces; and profiles.

Vertical-spindle (wheel-face) grinders

The face of a wheel (cup, cylinder, disc, or segmental wheel) is used on the flat surface. Wheel-face grinding is often used for fast material removal, but some machines can accomplish high-precision work. The workpiece is held on a reciprocating table, which can be varied according to the task, or a rotary-table machine, with continuous or indexed rotation. Indexing allows loading or unloading one station while grinding operations are being performed on another.

Disc grinders and double-disc grinders

Disc grinding is similar to surface grinding, but with a larger contact area between disc and workpiece. Disc grinders are available in both vertical and horizontal spindle types. Double disc grinders work both sides of a workpiece simultaneously. Disc grinders are capable of achieving especially fine tolerances.

Grinding wheels for surface grinders

Main article: Grinding wheel

Aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, diamond, and cubic boron nitride (CBN) are four commonly used abrasive materials for the surface of the grinding wheels. Of these materials, aluminum oxide is the most common. Because of cost, diamond and CBN grinding wheels are generally made with a core of less expensive material surrounded by a layer of diamond or CBN. Diamond and CBN wheels are very hard and are capable of economically grinding materials, such as ceramics and carbides, that cannot be ground by aluminum oxide or silicon carbide wheels.

As with any grinding operation, the condition of the wheel is extremely important. Grinding dressers are used to maintain the condition of the wheel, these may be table mounted or mounted in the wheel head where they can be readily applied.

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