3 Tips to Using Diamond Cutoff Wheels

Applications|Consulting|Grinding Wheels 101

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Although they are composed of the same basic structure, a base bonded to a suspension of abrasive, cutoff wheels and grinding wheels serve very different purposes. Instead of slowly removing material from the surface of a workpiece like a grinding wheel would, cutoff wheels are designed to slice through material. Typically ranging from 0.015” to 1/16”  in width, they are much thinner than most wheels.

Diamond cutoff wheels are available in a multitude of bond options, but specifically contain diamond abrasive. These wheels are utilized in a variety of industries including wood and metal tooling production, iridium and platinum cutting for manufacturing spark plugs, slicing silicon wafers for computer chips, glass, ceramic and magnet cutting for automotive and aerospace tools/parts. Being so commonly seen throughout manufacturing, I decided to compile the three main tips to using a diamond cutoff wheel- straight from the experts.

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Although you can choose from a wide selection of bond structures for your diamond cutoff wheel, it is recommended to begin with a resin bond for most applications. Tip #1: Start soft. A smooth cut is the best way to avoid deflection during the cutting process. To guarantee this, begin by trying a resin bonded diamond cutoff wheel. Resin bonds are known as a more free cutting bond, meaning they have higher abrasive renewal rates and reveal new cutting edges at a higher rate. If necessary, a harder bond like metal can be utilized if wear rate is too excessive.

At Eagle, our CutMax bonds are utilized on each cutoff wheel we offer. Not only are they specially designed to provide optimal cutting to a wide variety of materials, but Eagle Superabrasives Inc. provides nonstop customer service until your operation is running as smoothly as possible. This means a cutoff wheel purchased at Eagle isn’t just a one-off sale. Eagle’s engineers offer careful adjustments to the wheel chemistry that can result in a wide variety of formulations to ensure the perfect cut. At Eagle, you have the ability to start soft with a CutMax bond.

Whether you’re cutting glass optics or carbide rods, a diamond cutoff wheel could be a great choice for your operation. Tip #2: Ensure your cut rate is optimal for the material being processed. Attempting to cut brittle materials like glass and ceramics too quickly can chip the material, usually during the exit of the cutoff wheel from the cutting area. In the end, slightly slower processing can save manufacturers from a mountain of wasted product.

Whether you’re using a grinding wheel or a cutoff wheel, it is important to ensure the process is well executed. Tip #3: A well maintained coolant system. Excessive heat generation can cause a host of problems during a cutting operation, but also prematurely wears the wheel surface. In order to produce the best cut and extend the life of your wheel, ensure you have a well maintained coolant system.  If you’re cutting dry, don’t panic!  Just make sure your cut off wheel is designed to be used dry.

Technical Considerations

Some of the most common issues seen with diamond cutoff wheels include chipped product, prolonged production time, and premature wear. However, prolonged production time, as stated in Tip #2, is one of the most cost effective solutions to waste reduction. Remember: err on the side of caution, take your time and assess your coolant system!

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Whether you are looking for general guidance or are ready to get a quote, we are dedicated to helping you find the right solution – and if we can’t provide the exact wheel you need, we will let you know. We hope you’ll explore the ways our team can help your business stay ahead of the competition.