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. Because of this, there is no comparable alternative to centerless grinding for meeting this requirement. Aside from the expected, precise surface finish of the bar, it can also allow multiple tasks. That’s why it is referred to as 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. Well, 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 really see how centerless grinding has benefited their machining operations in so many ways. As a process that requires no centers, it provides a number of advantages in the production and operation of materials. This grinding method simply requires three-point positioning, which means 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 any downtime for workpiece changes. The automation technique applied as well as the proper positioning is the key to achieve consistency in every finished product flying out of the machine.
The linear support for the workpiece (bar) helps to prevent large torsional and bending loads in machining pliable or brittle components through the use of 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 Set-up Times
Centerless grinding is proven to punch mass production at fast lead times. Among all operations, centerless grinding has the easiest setup. There is no need for further preparation of the workpiece for transmission of the rotary movement and clamping. The automation technique implemented 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 types of components.
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 even less than 1µm.
How is a workpiece held without centers?
The technique behind the centerless operation lies in 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 work blade, which holds it in place between the two wheels. It also forces 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 precise 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 important roles and all serve to achieve the consistent target result in the mass production of components.
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