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Universal Grinding Revolutionizes Manufacturing with Creep Feed Grinding

As outlined in the article “Creep feed grinding” by Open University’s Manupedia, creep feed grinding is essentially a milling process, capable of removing high volumes of material in a single pass of the grinding wheel. During the first pass, deeper cuts are made, while final surface finishing occurs during the second pass, facilitated by a small diamond roller dressing the grinding wheel. A jet of coolant washes away chips of workpiece material into the nip, a tangential void formed at the wheel’s curve meeting the workpiece’s surface, aiding in chip removal.

Manufacturing processes benefit from creep feed grinding due to its ability to combine high stock removal rates with excellent surface finishes and relatively low wheel wear. Key to the process is wheel dressing using an overhead diamond dressing wheel, either at the end of each traverse or continuously while lowering the wheel to compensate for diameter reduction. This method serves as an alternative to horizontal milling and conventional grinding, especially for tasks requiring significant material removal.

One notable advantage of creep feed grinding lies in its flexibility for modifying form on the grinding wheel using inexpensive templates and single-point diamonds, enabling rapid profile changes not easily achieved with milling cutters. Additionally, this method significantly reduces the time spent “grinding air,” which is common in conventional grinding processes. Its form-holding characteristics are superior, largely due to the elimination of vibration typical in conventional grinding, along with low Minimum Net Interpass Rests (MNIRs) in feed rates, contributing to reduced chatter.

Furthermore, creep feed grinding presents less chatter than conventional methods, thanks to its longer wheel-workpiece interface, enabling the use of cubic boron nitride (CBN) wheels. These CBN wheels offer exceptional durability, up to 100 times longer than alumina wheels, making them a cost-effective alternative despite the time required for wheel changes and dressing. Creep feed grinding achieves metal removal rates significantly higher than reciprocating grinding, often requiring specially-built grinding machines for optimal performance, although some standard machines can be equipped with optional features for creep feed grinding conversion.

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Photo and article with all rights reserved, courtesy of open.edu