Abrasive material is the material used to roughen the surface of other materials (generally to give it a matte,satin or beaded finish) and abrasive discs are used to cut or to shape up materials like metal, wood, plastic and so on.
Abrasive grinding disc is basically made of abrasive grain and binding material. Durability of the disc for sharpening or shaping surfaces depends on the bond between abrasive grain and binding material and the ratio of abrasive to bonding material, in volume. As the disc becomes older, abrasive grain starts to fade out and the disc starts getting dull.various profiles or cross-sections are also obtainable from such discs using some tools.
Abrasive grinding discs are classified based on the abrasive material, base mold, wheel structure, abrasive grain size etc. and they may have various different grades, different structures and different sizes.
Majority of abrasive grinding discs contain bonds made up using ceramic, feldspar etc. This ceramic wheels are fired in electric, gas-fired or oil-fired kilns at almost 1,260Â° c temperature for well-defined time period (based upon size of wheels). The burn time may be of upto few weeks.
For manufacturing the grinding wheels weighted amounts of binding material and abrasives are mixed in right proportions and when thoroughly mixed, the mixture is spread uniformly over steel molds. The mold is then hydrolically compressed to the desired wheel sizes with pressure of possibly several hundred tons. In this process, uneven oversizes in particles are allowed upto some extent for purpose of finishing operations .
Another kind of abrasive grinding discs are manufactured by developing organic-type bonds using resins,shellac or rubber as the bonding material. Then the wheels are baked at 150-200Â° c. due to lower temperatures, inclusion of molded-in threaded bushings, steel rings or fibreglass reinforcements becomes possible which keeps the discs from breakage due to side-pressures . Organic wheels can be made significantly thinner than the vitrified discs and due to the same they can also be used in some cutting processes in place of metal saw blades for cutting of wide variety of materials .
After they are baked, nearly all grinding wheels need to be finished using a process called truing . In truing, all outside layers produced of glazes due to kiln-heats are removed off and arbor hall's size inside the discs is corrected. Simultaneously, the working surface of wheel is sharpened. wheels are trued by using conical steel cutters, by grinding with abrasive grinding discs and by rubbing in beds of steel shots.
Grade/ hardness of wheel is classified based upon the binding materials used and thus the capicity of wheel to resist and keep itself sharp in variety of conditions. High grade abrasive grinding discs are used for heavy grinding and cutting operations. They have larger amount of bonding and keeps grains retained for relatively longer time on the disc. Generally, high grade abrasive grinding discs are used in metal foundries. In the last phase of manufacture the grinding wheel is checked for proper balance to assure a vibration-free operation. In speed test, wheels are rotated at atleast 150% of maximum allowable operation speed and checked for their sustainability.
Another important factor in efficiency of abrasive grinding disc is the wheel structure which defines the wheel density i.e. Amount of abrasive and bonds versus the airspace. Larger airspace allows finer grinding due to better chip clearance and thus lowering the wheel density.
Lastly, the most important part of the abrasive grinding disc is the grain itself. grain materials most commonly used are silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, aluminum zirconium and seeded gel. All of these have their unique applications based on their material charecteristics. Silicon carbide has sharper grains and generally it is used to cut or roughen non-ferrous metals, concrete and masonary products. Aluminum oxide is coarse and blocky grain material. It is used to grind and cut metals including ferrous metals. Seeded gel(SG) is a material produced by fusing the fine grade aluminum oxide powder grains with the bonding material while aluminum zirconium is a tough, dense grained abrasive used for rapid and aggresive stock removal. It is highly durable and lasts for long time.
Overall, performance of grinding tools is highly dependent on grinding accesories like grinding wheels. And various aspects of grinding accesories need to be assessed for choosing the proper one.
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