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How Does A Surface Grinder Work?

Surface grinding is an age-old manufacturing technology that has been around for 100 years or so. The process involves grinding down metal surfaces of different heights and leveling them using a grinding wheel.

At Cav Tool Inc., we specialize in surface grinding to create custom dies and molds for companies in Grand Rapids, MI. Click here to learn more about what we do.

In this article, we will give you a snapshot of how surface grinders work.

What is Surface Grinding?

Surface grinding is the most common grinding process used to refine various kinds of metal and non-metal objects. The concept is simple: the surface grinding operator holds the workpiece (usually metal) to make it perfectly flat. It is an abrasive machining process to grind away varying heights and leveling the workpiece.

Surface Grinding Applications

Surface grinding is used in several industries in Grand Rapids, mostly in the manufacturing sector. You can use a variety of metals and plastics as workpieces to create integrated parts and components with perfect shape and measurements. These include:

  • Punches and dies
  • Windmills
  • Machine frames
  • Clutch and gears
  • Automobiles
  • Railways
  • Washers
  • Ceramics
  • Piston rings

Surfacing grinders also used for power generation.

Anatomy Of A Surface Grinder

A surface grinder comprises of two basic components:

1. Grinding Wheel
2. Rotary Table (or Reciprocating Table)

The grinding wheel is usually made of composite material, like rough or coarse aggregate bonded with a cementing matrix. The wheels spin at high speeds to grind metals into a flat surface.

Grinding wheels don’t always need to be straight. Surface grinding operators also use custom grinding wheel profiles in some instances to create a specific pattern on the surface of the metal. But patterns can be machined with straight grinding wheels as well, depending on the operator’s skill.

There is also a relationship between the workpiece and the grinding wheel.

Sometimes, the material becomes extremely heated, starts to erode, or becomes embedded within the wheel, slowing down the process. This usually occurs with materials like plastic, brass, stainless steel, and aluminum. On the other hand, materials like steel and cast iron usually grind well without any complications.

Talking about the other component of a surface grinder, the table includes the work bed where you place the workpiece for grinding. The material is either clamped down or held tightly with an electromagnet.

The workpiece is placed directly beneath the grinding wheel, which is set at the required speed. The work bed moves in and out while the workpiece is elevated slightly until the whole material is ground. Many surface grinders have hand adjusted dials, while others use hydraulics or electric power to move the work bed.

Of course, modern surface grinders are programmable and require almost no input from the operator once they are set up.

Types of Surface Grinders

There are three basic types of surface grinders:

1. Horizontal-spindle grinders
2. Vertical-spindle grinders
3. Disc grinders

At Cav Tool Inc., we use a variety of surface grinders to create custom molds and dies. Click here to get a free quotation.