The basic components of a cylindrical finishing machine are the grinding and regulatory wheels and a work rest blade. To hold the workpiece in place, the grinding wheel pushes the material into the regulating wheel and support blade, both of which move at slower speeds. The regulatory component determines how fast the material moves and, therefore, the grinding speed.
Whatever material piece you’re working with, it should contact all three components at once. This creates a consistent process at high speeds, making automatic cylindrical grinding ideal for high-volume applications. Here’s how the three main working parts function:
- An abrasive grinding wheel grinds the material while also removing burrs and imperfections.
- A regulatory wheel controls the speed of the workpiece and acts as a bumper.
- A work blade supports the workpiece as the grinding component removes material.
The grinding wheel is arguably the most critical component of the system because it must support the material type and surface finish of your workpiece. Cylindrical grinding wheels are available in various widths, diameters, grain types and grit sizes. For example, they can have super abrasive materials like polycrystalline diamond for working with hard metals. Super abrasive grinding wheels are more durable and remain sharper for longer. They produce less thermal conductivity despite high speeds and temperatures, resulting in less grind time, and have longer life spans than wheels made of aluminum oxide.
The regulatory wheel controls the rotational speed of the piece and acts as a bumper to keep the material secure for accuracy. It rotates in the same direction as the grinding wheel but at a slower speed. The work blade is also a supporting component to keep the material steady.
There are also three different types of cylindrical grinding processes, including:
- Through-feed cylindrical grinding: The workpiece feeds through the center of the wheels as the regulating wheel pulls the material through without a separate feeding tool, making it ideal for cylindrical shapes.
- End-feed cylindrical grinding: The workpiece gets fed into the system until it hits an end. After the grinding process, it gets fed out the opposite end, making this method great for tapered materials.
- In-feed cylindrical grinding: The workpiece is manually added to the system and moved around for complex grinding for unusually shaped materials. This method is also called plunge grinding.
Cylindrical finishing holds a workpiece between two rotary wheels moving at different speeds to remove precise amounts of material. This process eliminates complications often found with other machines like lathes and mills when it comes to size, materials and finishes.