Key Variables in Grinding Alloys

Although grinding is often thought as a relatively slow and expensive operation, it is proven to offer multiple solutions in machining alloys for meeting the required finish and tolerance.

Grinding alloys can be quite tough since they are made of compound elements. Alloys have evolved for meeting high performance requirements. The challenge in machining alloys is that they can easily work-harden at the surface and generate heat. The accumulated high temperatures interfere with the cutting process that might deform or damage work parts.

The compound and complex nature of alloys contributes much to the heavy manufacturing of these metals. Additionally, the complex parts of the material often make it difficult for a secure hold in machining. This is why machining alloys and its parts are considered as very expensive. Thus, the processes involved in grinding alloys also involve other techniques (e.g. infeed and through feed grinding).

There really is a continuing progress when it comes to machining materials. This is also explains the sudden emergence of centerless grinding in the industry which is either implemented manually or through the CNC automation. Although grinding is often believed as an expensive machining solution, it is proven to offer multiple solutions in handling alloys and can be pretty customized for precisely meeting part requirements.

There are common techniques in providing control of cutting forces and surface finish, this includes varying the size of the wheels and their abrasive grains; the controlled gap between wheels; and the constant dressing of abrasive grains. In relation to abrasive grain dressing, switching to diamonds as the abrasive tool grains attached on the wheels makes it even more possible for forming highly accurate wheel shapes and producing complex part geometries in meeting up tolerances of 0.0001” or even finer.

Variables in Grinding Process

  1.  Investment – Capital really is the first step in any operation. To start up, you need to consider all the cost-factors such as floor space, machine, part size, and machining equipments involved.
  2.  Strategy – There are strategies that best implemented upon the success and continuation of the operation. These may include tooling, tool changing, proper positioning, and constant dressing to meet the required finish and tolerance in grinding alloys.
  3. Environment – Environment is highly important in the process because the coolant system application will depend on it. This involves the critical limitations and weighing benefits which include cleanliness, disposability, and fire precautions.
  4. Design and tolerances – There are a lot of things highly considered in machining a material, including part geometry, possible coating, and the required surface finish and diameter tolerance. Complex components need more keen attention to avoid excessive grinding that might lead to part distortion or deformation. The machining process and the chosen abrasives highly influence the surface finish and part tolerance.
  5. Workholding – Holding and support of the work-piece is highly critical to its surface finish. Thus, the proper implementation of tooling and positioning should be watched in detail to comply with the complexity of parts.

In achieving maximum productivity, the technology and grinding methods must match together to a specific manufacturing situation always. As of today, the grinder machines have improved and added more features and a variety of productivity-boosting systems. This includes automatic loading and process monitoring that aid productivity. High metal removal rates are always achieved with the modern grinding techniques, thus providing the best economical way to machine alloy parts.

If you need grinding solutions for your alloys, or any of your parts, contact us to assist your needs or feel free to get our free quote!