“Centerless grinding has represented a unique way of performing optimum grinding of parts in the machine without centers.”
Machining large quantities of long round bars and even complex parts can be very challenging. Then, there is no other considered alternative to this requirement than centerless grinding. Aside from the expected precise surface finish of the bar, it can also allow multiple tasks. That’s why it is termed as the solution to mass production.
Centerless grinding is the best machining technique to offer abrasive grinding tools to grind both pliable and brittle materials. This process corresponds to the cylindrical grinding method covered in the outside diameter (OD) grinding. Well, centerless is also a form of OD grinding, involving both plunge (in-feed) and thru-feed grinding, however it’s requiring “no centers”.
Advantages of having “No Centers”
Metal operators really see how centerless grinding has benefited their machining operations in so many ways. Being a type of process that requires no centers, it can allow itself to produce multiple advantages to the production and operation of materials. This grinding method just requires a three-point positioning which means only the presence of the grinding wheel, the regulating wheel, and the workblade should be put into proper place and height.
- No Downtime for Workpiece Changes
The continuous longitudinal grinding process makes it possible for an operation without any downtime for workpiece changes. The automation technique applied and the proper positioning is the key to achieve consistency in every finished product flying out of the machine.
- Deformation prevention
The linear support for the workpiece (bar) helps to prevent large torsional and bending loads in machining even pliable or brittle components with the use of large grinding forces. In other words, the operation itself is best fitting to perform grinding to large complex materials without any possible deformation.
- Fast Set-up Times
Centerless grinding has proven itself to punch mass production at fast lead times. Among all operations, centerless has the easiest set-up. There is no need for further preparation of the workpiece for transmission of the rotary movement and clamping. Automation technique implemented makes the grinding course done continuously in a single pass.
- Grinding Long Components
If talking about grinding long round components, it all falls back to the centerless grinding solution. The thru-feed type is the appropriate alternative and highly used by metalworkers for machining this type of components.
- Less roundness and cylindricity errors
Grinding out-of-round materials is performed best with centerless grinding. Errors in machining out-of-cylindricity and out-of-roundness components are even reduced to less than 1µm.
How workpiece is held without centers?
The technique behind the centerless operation is the proper positioning of the grinding wheel and regulating wheel (back-up wheel). During the process, the grinding wheel co-rotates, driving the workpiece (bar) in a rotating motion. The grinding pressure applied to the workpiece forces it against the workblade which holds it in place between the wheels. It also forces the workpiece against the regulating wheel which pulls it past the grinding wheel as it takes abrasive bite on the workpiece surface, giving it a precise surface polish and tight tolerance in diameter.
The tools and the machines only used in the centerless OD (outside diameter) grinding method makes it a unique machining method in manufacturing industries. All the machine parts have their important roles in achieving the consistent target result in mass production of components.
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