When talking about metal fabrication, a person may have come across the term ‘surface grinder‘. But what is it exactly? It is an abrasive, or grinding wheel which is usually used in cutting wheels, saws and other similar pieces of equipment. It’s often used to create a very smooth and flat finish on flat, smooth surfaces. It’s a popular, widely used mechanical machining procedure where a rotating cutting wheel with abrasive particles is used to cut chips of non-metallic or metallic material off a workpiece, creating a flat surface or face of it.
The way it works is simple: the work surface is placed on a rotary table (usually made of stainless steel) and the abrasive wheel rotates at a very high speed over the surface of the work piece. The friction caused by the wheel against the work surface causes some small tears, which are then punctured by the abrasive. These tears then get pushed down into a chamber which has a collection cup. The work piece then sits on top of the cup and is held in place by a chuck or collar.
There are many different types of surface grinders, which are used for various purposes. Some are precision instruments that can do precision work very quickly; some are for precision shallow deburring. Precision surface grinder machines are used in jewelry making, chair and desk work, and other precision cutting services. And these machines can be found in a variety of sizes and capabilities from the compact machine that can do surface polishing in one shot to the huge machine that can perform hundreds of slices in an hour or more.
In the case of the rotary table, there are two main types: those which are mechanical and those which are electronic. A mechanical surface grinder is an electrical device that has a shaft connected to a motor that rotates the grinding wheel. The motor provides power for the shaft and the wheel itself. These are great for getting into corners where electrical power is not available.
The electronic surface grinder, also called a CNC machine, is an automated machining tool. The CNC is capable of precise movements that are faster than human machinists and with a higher degree of control. Most CNC machines come with a program that makes them highly dependable and capable of cutting most complex fabrication and drilling workpieces. One drawback of the CNC surface grinding tool is that it cannot cut materials that are too thick or have a high carbon content.
The most popular and widely used CNC surface grinder are the diamond drill press. It operates using two cylindrical spinning diamond wheels that spin at high speeds. A hard nylon sleeve is then placed between the diamond wheels and the work surface so that only the rough surfaces of the materials can be accessed. This allows the CNC machine to grind surfaces of any thickness and with any degree of roughness.