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What to Consider When Buying a Grinding Wheel

If you’re looking to buy a grinding wheel for metalwork, there are several vendors you can find nowadays. However, it is crucial to buy the right one to avoid wasting money and time.

Many things should be considered when buying a grinding wheel, first of which is the material that you will use it on. This will tell you which abrasive is right for your needs. If you work with steel, for instance, you should go for irconia alumina or aluminum oxide. If you plan to use your grinder for non-metallics, cast iron and non-ferrous metals, experts advise silicon carbide abrasive.

The harder and more brittle the material to be ground is, the softer the grade and the finer the grit size you’ll need. Since hard materials resist abrasion with great force, the grains tend to dull very quickly. The fine-grit-soft-grade combo allows the grains to come off as they dull, revealing newer and sharper cutters. On the other hand, a coarser grit and harder grade are best for softer materials that are easy to penetrate.

Another important consideration is the amount of stock for removal. Stock is naturally removed faster with coarser grits because of the stronger penetration as well as the heavier cuts. But a finer grit will be more effective for softer material.

In terms of bonds, wheels having vitrified bonds can cut more quickly. For removing tiny amounts of stock, shellac, resin or rubber bonds are advised.

Another thing that makes a difference when choosing a wheel bond is how fast the wheel turns in operation. Vitrified wheels are typically operated at a maximum speed of 6,500 surface feet per minute. If this speed is exceeded, the vitrified bond could break. Best for speeds of 6,500 and 9,500 surface feet per minute are organic bond wheels. When higher speeds are required, specially designed wheels are often necessary.

In any case, operating speed should not be higher than the maximum recommended in the manual.

The next thing to consider is the area of the wheel-to-workpiece grinding contact. A wider area of contact calls for a softer grade and a with coarser grit. Finer grits and harder grades are a must for smaller areas of grinding contact because of the greater unit pressure.

Now it’s time to look into the grinding action’s severity. This pressure is what keeps the grinding wheel and the workpiece close together. For extreme grinding, such as projects involving steel and steel alloys, special abrasives are made to withstand the pressure.

Finally, grinding machine horsepower should be considered. Harder-grade wheels normally run with greater horsepower.If horsepower is less than wheel diameter, a softer grade wheel is advised. The reverse is also true.
The opposite is true as well.

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