Grinding - 2: Cutting Action
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WARNING: Machine tools present a safety hazard. Improper operation can result in severe injury. These topics are for non-laboratory study only and are not to be used in conjunction with the operation of any tool or machine described herein. Never use a machine tool without the supervision of a qualified instructor.
To be successful with grinding, it is necessary to understand some basic principles. Grinding uses a method of material removal called abrasion . Rather than cutting like a lathe bit, the material is slowly worn away because the abrasive is harder than the material being ground. In truth the grinding wheel acts like many thousands of very small lathe bit, each cutting off some metal.

The abrasive must also be strong enough to withstand the forces acting upon it while grinding. Usually some sort of impact shock occurs when the abrasive comes in contact with the material.

Heat while grinding is of major concern, with effects seen at every phase of the operation. Also the abrasive needs to be able to withstand high temperatures caused by the friction during the grinding. Sometimes, these high temperatures will cause damage to the bonding agents found in the wheel causing the wheel to break down. In general coolant must be directed at the grinding wheel, not the material being ground, as heat causes more damage to the wheel than the work piece..

Most abrasive wheels need to be able to be resurfaced (dressed), as the old surface will become impregnated with material during the grinding operation. Dressing is accomplished with a diamond tipped tool.

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