Basics And Beyond With Cylindrical Grinding
While grinding may have historically been a rudimentary process to even out the surface of a piece of metal of any shape, today it is a specialized industry. The various options and techniques in grinding from cylindrical grinding to working with bar or tubing all has its early roots in this very basic process.
While originally all grinding was done manually, and then later by electrical tools controlled by hand, today it is done by CNC processes. Computer numeric control allows for a computer to actually control the grinding process, producing exact replicas over and over again for small batches as well as large production runs.
The process of cylindrical grinding, which may also be called cylinder-type grinding, is one of the most common types of processes used today. It can create a wide range of components and parts including shafts, mandrels, cylinders, cores and even tapered components. It is can be used for contour grinding to produce very specific final shapes.
How Cylindrical Grinding Works
With center-type cylindrical grinding both ends of the part are secured in the grinding machine to provide precise movement of the grinder along the surface. A swivel that is included in the machine allows the option to move the part to create the taper or the contour shapes.
The different shapes of the grinding wheel, which moves parallel to the movement of the workpiece, remove the surface of the piece to the desired specifications. In some cases, more than one pass may be required to create the desired surface on the component.
There are also centerless cylindrical grinding processes where the part is not anchored but rather held between two different shaped and sized wheels. This is often used on parts where a very high tolerance is required.
Other types of this grinding can include outside diameter and inside diameter grinding. Each specific grinding process is selected based on the desired shape of the final component as well as the specific material and size of the bar.
Today, cylindrical grinding is a very specific process that is used to produce equipment and parts for such diverse industries and applications as aerospace and medical devices. While typically completed on metal alloys, it can also be used on plastics and new polymers to shape these parts to the desired tolerances and specifications.