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A Comprehensive Guide to Precision Grinding

Author: Yaozu Deng
Published on: 2023-03-13

Introduction

Precision Grinder working on a workpiece

Precision Grinding

In today’s world, there’s an increased need for parts with tight tolerances and accurate dimensions. In such manufacturing processes, there is little space for errors, and any slight dimension change could lead to the waste of such manufactured parts. Hence, there is a huge need for manufacturing techniques that can produce parts with accurate dimensions and precise tolerances. This is where precision grinding comes in.

Precision grinding is essential in the CNC machining industry due to its ability to fulfill the abovementioned needs. To fully highlight its importance, this article will explain everything about the manufacturing technique. We’ll be covering its applications, benefits, types, and other topics related to precision grinding services.

What is Precision Grinding?

Precision grinding is a subtractive manufacturing process that uses high-precision grinding machines to manufacture parts. Originally, grinding is a process suitable for various applications, such as abrasive milling, surface finishing of cylindrical and flat surfaces, etc. However, the precision grinding method was made due to the need for precision and accuracy in the manufacture of some parts.

The process of precision grinding

Precision grinding is a practical solution to the problem of achieving tight tolerances and accurate dimensions in manufacturing. The process is also compatible with various materials such as metals, ceramics, and minerals. If you want a process that can produce a part (using the above materials) just according to the specified dimensions, precision grinding is the way to go. For example, high-precision grinding machines can achieve tolerances ranging from +/- 13 microns to +/- 1.3 microns in diameter and +/- 2.5 to 0.25 microns for roundness.

 

Applications of Precision Grinding

Due to the intricacy that precision grinding offers, its applications spread across many industries that require carefully produced and high-quality parts. Examples of these industries include:

Aviation Industry

A Turboshaft engine from an airline

A Turboshaft engine

Many aircraft parts require careful production and strict adherence to dimensions. A good example of such parts that need this is the turboshafts in the plane. These turboshafts, which serve as an emergency source of power in the case of engine damage, require the precision and consistency that precision grinding offers.

 

Automotive Industry

A cylinder head from a car

A cylinder head

Many car parts, especially their engines, require parts specifically made for the car. These parts have to be made to fine dimensions, or it might cause issues in the vehicle. An example of car parts that require precision grinding is its cylinder heads. Although milling is the typical technique used for making these cylinder heads, precision grinding is also suitable due to the efficiency of the process.

Electrical Industry

A semiconductor wafer

The electrical industry is another field that requires precision manufactured parts. Examples of electrical components that need precision grinding are semiconductor wafers. Precision grinding is used to manufacture the optical films used in these wafers.

 

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Types of Precision Grinding Techniques

There are various types of precision grinding techniques, and it is vital to use the proper technique for a machining process to achieve the best results. Explained are a few of these methods:

Centerless Grinding

This grinding method is suitable for working on long and tiny workpieces such as bars or tubes. This is because, unlike other precision grinding techniques, it doesn’t hold the workpiece in a stationary place. Instead, it uses a blade to support the workpiece while it grinds its external circumference. Also, centerless grinders use two wheels: the abrasive grinding wheel and the regulating wheel. These two wheels move at different speeds, with the abrasive precision grinder moving faster than the regulating grinder.

Single and Double Disc Grinding

As the name implies, single and double disc grinding uses single and double discs. For single-disc precision grinders, the spindle usually holds the disc vertically while the chuck clamps the workpiece to a position. The double discs grinders come in both vertical and horizontal types, with both capable of various precision grinding applications.

Cylindrical Grinding

Cylindrical grinding is also referred to as center-type grinding. This process uses grinders that comprise a precision grinding wheel, two centers for holding the workpiece, the chuck for driving the workpiece, and some other features. The grinding disc and the workpiece rotate in different directions, making chip removal easy. There are two types of cylindrical grinding, and they include:

Internal Diameter Grinding

The internal diameter grinding technique removes excess materials from the internal diameter of holes, tubers, or bores. In this process, the centers hold the workpiece in a stationary spot, and the chuck rotates it to reduce the diameter of the workpiece.

Outer Diameter Grinding

The outer diameter grinding functions in grinding the external surface of workpieces. The centers hold the workpiece in place while the chuck rotates it in the same direction as the disc to allow fine grinding.

It is vital to mention that the parts must be cylindrical for either of these techniques to be suitable for grinding.

Surface Grinding

Precision surface grinding is a precision grinding technique used to finish flat surfaces. The setup consists of a grinding wheel positioned perpendicular to the workpiece, held in place by a magnet. The magnet used can either be a permanent magnet or an electric magnet.

This technique is suitable for magnetic materials that are grindable and do not block the grinding wheel. Examples of such materials are steel and cast iron. However, other metals like brass and aluminum usually block grinding wheels.

How does Precision Grinding Work?

Precision grinding involves using a precision grinding machine to remove materials from a workpiece. This precision grinder uses a grinding wheel of abrasives powered by an electric motor. The speed of these motors could range from 150 to 15000 rpm, depending on the project.

The precision grinder comprises various parts, including:

  • Grinding Wheel
  • Abrasive Wheel Head
  • Table
  • Coolant Supply Nozzle
  • Wheel Guard
  • Base

Precautions to Follow When Using a Grinding Machine

Although the precision grinding machine can be CNC-controlled, you must take some precautions manually. Examples of this include:

  • Properly Clamping the Workpiece: The grinding process might occur at high speeds, depending on the process. Hence, it is essential to fix the workpiece properly to prevent it from moving and leading to a waste of materials.
  • Use Suitable Grinding Wheels: The grinding process would differ for different materials; hence, the wheel used should vary in different cases. Ensure you’re using the right wheel for different grinding operations to prevent damage to the workpiece.
  • Ensure the Grinding Speed is Right: The grinding speed is vital to the machining process, and using the wrong speed could also damage the workpiece.

 

Benefits of Precision Grinding

Precision grinding has become a staple manufacturing technique in the manufacturing industry due to its benefits. Listed below are three benefits of precision grinding:

Accuracy and Precision

Various industries require parts that must be produced according to specified dimensions with little allowance for errors. Such industries require machining techniques that can fulfill this level of detail. Precision machining is a great choice for these projects as it can reproduce the accuracy and precision needed for these machining procedures.

Easy Quality Control

Due to the high level of accuracy and precision the process offers, it is easier to ensure consistency of quality across all production batches. This applies better to precision grinding processes that are CNC-controlled.

High Efficiency

The ability of the machining technique to easily reproduce required tolerances and measurements means there would be little wastage of materials. This translates to higher efficiency in production, as intricate parts will require fewer materials to make.

Importance of Choosing the Right Precision Grinding Service Provider

Precision grinding is a process that requires a high skill level to pull off. This is due to the intricacy of the needed parts. To ensure the proper production of these parts, the machine operator needs to be adequately skilled in CNC machining and calibration. Hence, you need to ensure that the precision grinding service provider you’re outsourcing has the required skilled personnel to deliver successfully.

At Prolean, we can assure you of high-quality precision grinding services that are affordable. We have skilled personnel members that know all there is about precision grinding and have practical experience in the machining procedure.

If you need any precision grinding work done, do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Conclusion

Precision machining is a machining technique that produces parts with tight tolerances and accurate dimensions. Its ability to consistently produce these intricacies gives the process a high level of efficiency and productivity. These benefits have made it one of the most popular machining techniques in the machining industry.

 

FAQs

What machine is used for precision grinding?

Precision grinding uses high-precision grinding machines to make parts. There are various types of these machines, including surface precision grinders, single and double-disc precision grinders, etc.

What is the accuracy of the precision grinder?

Precision grinders can achieve high levels of accuracy, reaching tolerance measurements ranging from +/- 2.5 to 0.25 microns for roundness and +/- 13 microns to +/- 1.3 microns in diameter.

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