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A Quick Guide to Surface and Cylindrical Grinding

Two of the most common methods of grinding are surface and cylindrical. Here’s a guide to learn more.

According to Amon Engineering:

“There are a variety of grinding methods out there but two of the most common ones are surface and cylindrical grinding. The differences between the processes really come down to the shape you are trying to make. Surface grinding cuts a flat, cylindrical grinding cuts a round. You can use the same media on both processes. One other note – you typically mount a cylindrical part between centres or in a collet. For surface grinding you need a magnetic chuck or you need to wax the parts. So cylindrical grinding gives you less cleanup. Below is a quick guide to surface and cylindrical grinding.

Surface Grinding

“Surface grinding is generally the most common of the grinding techniques. An abrasive wheel rotates on a spindle and runs generally above the piece of material, be it metallic or non-metallic. This produces the desired surface finish along with the ability to grind to extremely high tolerances. Typically + /-0 .0001” or + / – 0 .002 mm. The work piece is held on a chuck, normally of a magnetic kind, another version is to use a vacuum chuck for the non-magnetic components.

“The grinding wheel needed, will depend on the kind of component being ground, there are many different compounds available for the varied materials to be ground. Once you have chosen the correct wheel, you can either grind with a flat wheel producing a flat surface or you could put a form on the outside of the wheel to produce a particular shape, this would be a mirror image of the shape on the wheel.

Cylindrical Grinding

“Cylindrical grinding is another type of grinding. This allows you to grind the outside and internal diameters. The main difference between the two methods is that on Cylindrical grinding both the work piece held either in a chuck or between centres and the abrasive wheel will rotate. The same level of tolerance’s are achievable as with the surface finish.

“Cylindrical grinding machines are mainly used for precision grinding of end faces, outer and conical surfaces of batches shaft parts, and are the main equipment in the automotive engine industry. It is also suitable for the processing of shaft parts with small batch size and high precision requirements in military, aerospace and general precision machining workshops.

“It is used in the textile spinning industry, thick yarn machine, draw frame machine, combing machine, texturing machine and other top roller processing. It is used in the manufacturing of office communication equipment, fax machines, copiers, printers, cutting plotters and other rubber rollers. It is also applicable to the pharmaceutical industry, automatic conveying device, the top roller and plastic processing.

“For more information on surface and cylindrical grinding, consult Amon Engineering. We provide our clients with a comprehensive range of precision components that include prototyping of small to medium batches of parts in a wide choice of materials. We work adeptly with ferrous metals, tungsten carbide, tools steel, aluminium, stainless steel, aerospace grade alloys, engineering plastics, non-ferrous metals, Advanced Technical ceramics and other materials.”

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