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Centerless Grinding: Passing The Challenge In Grinding Without Centers

Centerless grinding has represented a unique way of performing optimum parts grinding in the machine without centers.

Machining large quantities of long round bars and complex parts can be challenging. Because of this, there is no comparable alternative to centerless grinding for meeting this requirement. Aside from the bar’s expected, precise surface finish, it can also allow multiple tasks. That’s why it is called the “solution to mass production.”

Centerless grinding is the best machining technique to offer abrasive grinding tools for grinding both pliable and brittle materials. This process corresponds to the cylindrical grinding method covered in the outside diameter (OD) grinding. Centerless is also a form of OD grinding involving both plunge (in-feed) and thru-feed grinding. However, it requires “no centers.”

Advantages of Being Centerless

Metal operators see how centerless grinding has benefited their machining operations in many ways. As a process that requires no centers, it provides several advantages in producing and operating materials. This grinding method requires three-point positioning, meaning only the grinding wheel, the regulating wheel, and the work blade need to be in the proper place and height.

No Downtime for Workpiece Changes

The continuous longitudinal grinding process allows for operation without downtime for workpiece changes. The automation technique and proper positioning are the key to achieving consistency in every finished product flying out of the machine.

Deformation prevention

The linear support for the workpiece (bar) helps prevent large torsional and bending loads in machining plastic or brittle components through large grinding forces. In other words, the operation itself is the best fit for the grinding of large complex materials without allowing for any possible deformation.

Fast Setup Times

Centerless grinding is proven to punch mass production at fast lead times. Among all operations, centerless grinding has the most straightforward setup. There is no need for further preparation of the workpiece to transmit the rotary movement and clamping. The automation technique makes the grinding course continuous and done in a single pass.

Grinding Long Components

In the case of grinding long, round components, centerless grinding is yet again the best solution. The thru-feed method is most appropriate and highly recommended by metalworkers when machining these features.

Less roundness and cylindricity errors

Grinding out-of-round materials is also best accomplished with centerless grinding. Errors in machining out-of-cylindricity and out-of-roundness components are reduced to less than 1µm.

How is a workpiece held when grinding without centers?

The technique behind the centerless operation lies in properly positioning the grinding wheel and regulating wheel (backup 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 work blade, which holds it in place between the two wheels. It also moves the workpiece against the regulating wheel, which pulls it past the grinding wheel as it takes an abrasive bite on the workpiece surface, giving it a clear surface polish and ensuring tight tolerance in diameter.

The tools and machines used in the centerless OD (outside diameter) grinding method make it a unique machining method in manufacturing industries. All of the machine parts have their essential roles, and all serve to achieve the consistent target result in the mass production of components.

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