Centerless grinding truly paves the way for more opportunities and new applications in the machining world.
Centerless grinding is one of the best techniques that operators and manufacturers use in the high volume production of bars and materials for the machining industry.
The Centerless Grinder
A centerless grinder has no centers, as is implied with the name. With proper set-up, the operation can achieve an excellent roundness and surface finish. The “centerless” set-up enables the machine to grind and cut out-of-round workpieces. This method is a three-point positioning, which includes specific adjustment of the grinding wheel, the regulating wheel, and the workblade. The set-up is critical to the outer surface of the materials and for the successful result of the process.
Centerless grinding, among all other operations, has the easiest set-up process, and with proper automation, can be prepared for a continuous and consistent workflow. To get the operation started, a firm supporter of the workpiece must be held in place between the wheels. This plays a significant role in the rounding action, which determines the accuracy and consistency of the parts’ roundness and diameter tolerance. The set-up for centerless grinding is not that daunting and complicated compared to other machining operations – making it a less time-consuming operation! All it takes is the proper understanding of basic fundamentals to achieve the best results.
Types of Centerless Grinding
The centerless grinding machine is able to perform multiple tasks, particularly center-type, which can be done in two ways: 1- Plunge Grinding and 2- Through-Feed Grinding. If the workpiece is pulled past the grinding wheel by the regulating wheel, it is called through-feed grinding, which is generally used in machining long round bars and thin rods, which are made of brittle steels and metals. If the challenge is to machine relatively complicated parts, then Plunge Grinding (in-feed) is highly recommended. Plunge grinding is used to machine parts as complex as camshafts, crankshafts, and gear shafts. Currently, in-feed grinding is widely used for automotive applications.
The wheels used for grinding are dressed with abrasive teeth, sharp grains that are made of either diamond and/or cubic boron nitride. Superabrasive is the name given when the material used for the abrasive teeth has the qualities of extreme hardness and longevity. This is the method behind why the centerless machine is able to constantly perform abrasive cutting and excessive removal of unnecessary parts from the workpiece. With the abrasiveness of the grains, the grinding wheel is able to perform many significant tasks including polishing, roughing, and cleaning. Centerless grinders are also oftentimes used by operators to recycle old bars and restore the outer surface and appearance through the grinding process.
The super abrasive grains and the consistent placement of the wheels are the keys to achieving that super-high precision roundness and tight dimensional tolerance among bars and part components. From simple tube bars to relatively complex shafts, Centerless Grinding is an efficient operation used by many manufacturers and for many machining applications.