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4 Tips for Selecting the right Diamond Wheels for Manufacturing

Applications|Bonds|Consulting|Grinding Wheels 101|Misc. Grinding

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With a wide choice of products offered by major manufacturers, selecting a grinding wheel for your business and project can be a challenge. Depending on the geometry  and type of the material you are grinding, factors to consider include the type of abrasive, bond hardness  of the wheel, and grit size. As proper wheel selection ensures that the required finished product quality is achieved, here is a brief guide to help you make an informed choice.

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1. Choosing the Right Type of Abrasive 

Three types of Diamond abrasives are used depending on the material being cut – natural, synthetic, and metal-coated synthetic diamond. Rarely used nowadays as it is very expensive, natural diamond is a good choice for stone, granite, marble, and cemented carbides. Synthetic diamond is typically used for grinding non-ferrous metals and is a common choice for finish and critical form applications such as valve, crank, and automotive cam grinding. The third type, metal-coated synthetic diamond is also used to cut non-ferrous metals. It is produced by coating the grain with titanium, copper, or nickel to improve the grain holding power and heat resistance.

More generally, diamond abrasives have good wear resistance and grit retention and are used for semi-finish and rough processing of materials that are difficult to machine. Such materials include stone, fireproof and semiconductor electronic materials, ferrite, ceramics, and glass. Additionally, diamond abrasives are commonly used for materials such as asphalt, quartz, silicon, crystal, titanium alloys, and cemented carbide.

2. Choosing the Right Type of Bond

Used to combine and hold abrasive grains, the four most common bond options are electroplated, vitrified, resin, and metal. Resin bond diamond wheels have multiple applications, including centerless, off-hand, and dry and wet grinding. They are used for cutting ceramics, cermet, and cemented carbide as well as semiconductors, ferrites, and glass.

Metal bonds are commonly used for hard, brittle materials such as sapphire, ceramics, glass, tile, and quartz. Generally, metal bond grinding wheels are ideal for cutting highly abrasive materials and have a long service life.

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Vitrified bonds are used for grinding semiconductors, ceramics, and PCBN and PCD tools. Vitrified diamond wheels are also ideal for fragile and tough materials such as silicon, sapphire, as well as grinding heat treated HSS materials. As a rule, vitrified and metal bonds are custom ordered and more expensive.

The fourth variety, electroplated bonds are best for low abrasive grinding and form grinding of heat-resistant materials and ferrous automotive parts.

3. Choosing the Grade of the Wheel

The grade of the wheel is an indicator of the strength and hardness of the bonding system used to hold the abrasive grains. Grades range from A to Z, with Z representing maximum hardness and A indicating maximum softness.

The choice of proper grade is very important. Hard grade wheels are typically used for jobs with narrow or small areas of contact as well as on high-horsepower equipment. In contrast, soft-grade wheels are best for rapid stock removal.

4. Look at the Grit Size

Grit size indicates the number of the smallest openings through which the abrasive grain will pass. For instance, a 50-grit-sized grain will pass through a sieve with 50 holes per inch.

Grains are generally divided into very fine (320 – 1,000), fine (320 – 240 ), medium (240 – 150), and course (150 – 60  ). Course sizes are used for snagging and billet conditioning in foundries and steel mills. Medium sizes are best suited for high stock removal and surface finishing. Fine-grain sizes are used for small-diameter and fine-finish grinding while very fine grits are best for lapping and polishing.


Summing Up 

When choosing a diamond grinding wheel for manufacturing, the main factors are the type of abrasive and bond, grade of the wheel, and grit size based on the material you are grinding. Other factors that affect choice include the wheel speed in operation, the amount of stock that needs to be removed and grinding contact between the work material and wheel. As each factor matters, taking all factors into account is the best way to optimize grinding performance.

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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.