Grinding is a machining process that utilizes an abrasive grinding wheel to remove material. Grinding parts, whether cylindrical or prismatic in shape, creates superior surface finishes and extreme accuracy in features of size. While there are many grinding methods available, two of the most used for cylindrical parts are centerless grinding and cylindrical grinding. These processes have some similarities, but they also have distinct characteristics that make them suitable for different manufacturing applications.
The following blog post discusses the similarities and differences between centerless and cylindrical grinding to help readers understand which one will best suit their project needs.
What Is Centerless Grinding?
Centerless grinding works best at machining the outside diameter of simple, cylindrical parts. It involves feeding a workpiece between a stationary grinding wheel rotating at high speeds and a slower regulating wheel which spins and drives the part, in the case of through-feeding. An angled workblade secured between the grinding and regulating wheels serves as a resting place for the workpiece.
Since the workpiece is not affixed during centerless grinding operations, centers are not required on the part, nor is a chuck needed to hold and rotate it. Parts with uniform outside diameters can be quickly through-fed. Using simple axial stops, shafts with journals can be plunge-ground. Both methods produce parts with excellent roundness held to ultra-precise diameter specifications.
Some of the advantages that centerless grinding offers over other methods include:
Faster processing times
Excellent grinding accuracy
What Is Cylindrical Grinding?
Cylindrical grinding uses a headstock that is comprised of a chuck, or a center with a driver, to hold and rotate the workpiece. The part is typically supported by a tailstock with another center that, along with the headstock, move together axially, or side-to-side, on a machine table. The grinding wheel engages and cuts the part by moving radially, or in-and out, perpendicular to the workpiece.
By securing the workpiece and being able to move it axially, cylindrical grinding is much more versatile, allowing for multiple diameters, complex shapes, and angles to be ground. Moreover, the use of centers ensures that all diameters ground about the central axis of rotation are concentric with each other as well as with any other internal diameters that are concentric or “true” with the centers. It is an inherently precise and stable machining process.
Some of the advantages that cylindrical grinding offers over other methods include:
Greater grinding precision
Assured concentricity between inside and outside diameters
Capability of grinding complex features
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Applications of Centerless Grinding and Cylindrical Grinding
Both centerless grinding and cylindrical grinding are effective component machining methods. However, they are suitable for different parts and products due to the differences in their equipment and workpiece setup requirements.
Some examples of centerless-ground parts:
Some examples of cylindrical-ground parts:
keyway shafts and journals
Learn More About Centerless and Cylindrical Grinding From ATD Precision
Want more information on the similarities and differences between centerless grinding and cylindrical grinding? Ask the experts at ATD Precision! Having extensive experience providing centerless and cylindrical grinding services to customers with highly technical challenges, we can answer or address any questions or concerns you may have about the processes.
At ATD Precision, our clients demand precision parts that will meet their unique performance needs. To this end, micro-deburring has increased in importance over the past 50 years due to the small size and limited mass of today’s micro-sized parts.
What is Deburring?
The process of machining can sometimes result in burrs, those slightly raised edges or small pieces of material that remain attached to the part after fabrication. They appear naturally during many machining processes including stamping, sintering, milling, engraving, and cutting. These burrs can be unsightly but, more importantly, they sometimes also affect the safety and overall functionality of the part. In the case of precision parts, this can lead to critical failure. Deburring removes the burrs to provide a pristine, smooth, quality component.
What is Micro-Deburring?
Deburring can be quite forceful on larger components, but deburring small parts raises the process to a level of pinpoint accuracy. With micro-deburring, the goal is to ensure that even the smallest parts get deburred with utmost precision while still maintaining their dimensional integrity. Each part is handled separately utilizing specialized tools. After deburring, the individual parts undergo a visual inspection process under high-powered magnification to assure the desired results have been achieved and remain within necessary tolerances.
Types of Deburring for Small Parts
There are several methods for micro-deburring parts, including:
Hand deburring. Although there are multiple ways to deburr small parts, ATD specializes in hand deburring. Our skilled technicians use a variety of delicate processes to meticulously remove burrs under a high-resolution microscope. We accomplish this by hand lapping, hand polishing, applying very small brushes and tools, or using polishing wheels.
Thermal deburring. This process utilizes an explosive gas mixture to create thermal energy which burns off the burrs. It is most often used for removing hard-to-reach burrs in cracks or crevices, or for removing burrs on multiple surfaces simultaneously.
Waterjet deburring. A highly focused and sufficiently pressurized stream of water can remove burrs and rough edges. Removed material gets washed away by the jet, so no contaminating debris remains. The water jet deburring process is better suited for components with lower tolerances.
Electromechanical deburring. Electromechanical deburring may be used in some cases involving extremely difficult materials. A combination of electricity and a salt or glycol solution dissolves the burrs without adversely impacting the surrounding material.
Industries That Benefit From Micro Deburring
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The degree of precision, time required, and deburring method all depend largely on the final application of the part in question. Standard mechanical deburring processes are sufficient, but in certain industries, such as aerospace, lack of precision during the deburring process can leave unwanted debris that can cause catastrophic failures. Due to a need for high-performance precision parts, industries that often benefit from micro-deburring include:
Fluid control products
Valve and actuators
ATD – Specialists in Micro Deburring for Small Parts
Located in Rochester, New York, ATD Precision has been manufacturing complex precision-machined components and assemblies since 1968. We are the ideal partner for all yourmicro-deburring needs. Our skilled deburring specialists use exacting techniques to remove the following types of burrs:
Fine feather. These are fine filaments of metal on the edges of components. They are most often left behind after metal cutting processes.
Rollover. Also known as an exit burr, this is the most common type of burr. It is caused by a chip that gets bent rather than sheared and is usually formed at the end of a cut in face-milling.
Thread. This burr commonly occurs as the last thread of a part is rolled over.
Our 45,000-square-foot manufacturing facility contains state-of-the-art micro-deburring technology and a variety of other advanced fabrication and machining equipment, enabling us to provide complex solutions of the highest quality at a competitive price. To see how ATD Precision can assist you with your project, please contact us today.