Dressing a grinding wheel is a simple process, but there's more to it than meets the eye. If your shop uses grinding wheels, then choosing the right dressing tools is crucial to getting good results from your workpieces. Not only does your choice of dresser affect the quality and performance of your grinding wheels, but it can also severely impact their overall lifespan. As with anything, choosing the right tool for the job is the best way to make sure that your shop's equipment lasts over the long haul while also providing you with the performance than you expect.
Understanding Grinding Wheel Wear
For relatively straightforward tools, grinding wheels wear in a variety of complex and interesting ways. For a wheel that is used correctly, the abrasive particles that make up the wheel's surface will slowly wear down over time. As these particles wear, they lose their cutting power and will no longer produce the expected results. This reduction in cutting power has the effect of reducing the "hardness" of the wheel's edge. Since using a cutting wheel that is too soft for the workpiece can lead to additional wear, ignoring this dulling will cause additional problems down the line.
If misused, then grinding wheels can suffer from more severe forms of wearing. One of the more common problems encountered is loading of the wheel. A loaded wheel contains bits of material from workpieces. Although these fine particles may not seem like much of a problem, they affect the weight distribution of the wheel and can cause it to go out of round over time. Even without the balance problems, a loaded wheel will perform poorly as a result of particles clogging up the abrasive surface and causing it to appear smooth or glazed.
Choosing the Right Dresser to Deal With Wear
Although misused grinding wheels wear more quickly, all grinding wheels will wear down eventually. As this happens, a dressing tool must be applied to restore the wheel's cutting surface and, if necessary, return the wheel to a balanced and round shape. The three most commonly used types of dressers are diamond, star (sometimes called serrated), and stick dressers. Diamond dressers work to both remove old abrasive particles and clean the surface of material leftover by workpieces. Star dressers perform a similar function, but they can also help to rough up the surface of the wheel.
When choosing a dresser system for your shop, be sure to consider the skill level of your workers as well. Diamond dressers and stick dressers are generally easier to use since they remove less of the wheel's surface. Star dressers can be useful if other types of dressers are leaving your wheels too smooth, but they are often used as a follow-up. This type of dresser requires more user skill since the blades can chip away a larger amount of the wheel's surface material.
Reach out to a company that offers grinding wheel dresser systems to learn more.Share
8 October 2019
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