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Keep Calm and Grind On: Solving Common Grinding Wheel Issues

A lot of variables go into using grinding tools in your production process. If you don’t have everything precisely set, then you may run into some grinding wheel issues.

It’s tricky to figure out exactly what is causing it. We’ve compiled a list of some common grinding wheel problems to troubleshoot. Sometimes the solution is easier than you think!

Whether it’s grinding chatter, burn or finishing problems, we’ve seen it all. Check out some of these common grinding wheel issues and how you can solve them!

Grinding Wheels Got You Down?

It can be frustrating when you are working hard to give the final polish to workpieces and you run into an issue. Grinding is a big part of almost every industrial production environment.

If you see or hear something odd, chances are it’s a common problem. There are so many small changes to the settings on your grinding machine that can affect the grinding machine’s coolant lubricant supply or can lead to a grinding burn.

When you first start troubleshooting, be sure to make small adjustments to the machine. Most of all, don’t forget to stay safe whenever you are working around dangerous machinery.

Do You See Burn Marks?

Grinding burn is probably one of the most common problems with grinding machines. Burns on the rim zone of the parts will cause tiny microcracks and a brittle surface.

Grinding parts cause a high level of heat because of the amount of friction. A certain amount of heat entering the part is to be expected, but too much and you’ll burn your workpiece. Burning occurs when the infeed is too high and there is not enough coolant.

If you notice any burn marks on your workpiece, then chances are that you have insufficient coolant causing friction. The coolant lubricant takes the heat and transports it away. Sometimes, a lot of coolant lubricant is being used, but burning still occurs.

This is because there is a lot of coolant present, but it cannot reach the machining site in the right place and at an appropriate speed.  

Are the Nozzles Aligned?

If you don’t have your nozzles aligned correctly, then the coolant lubricant won’t be supplied to the machine correctly. Make sure you’ve thought through your coolant lubricant supply.

Needle nozzles are recommended to supply coolant in a targeted way to the machining site. This is important when avoiding overheating and burning. 

Not only do the properly aligned nozzles keep coolant to the right machining zone, but it also helps in the saturation of your grinding wheel. That will fill in the free pore spaces of the wheel with coolant lubricant to prevent burning on the workpiece.

Do You Hear Chatter?

Starting to hear that dreaded vibration we call chatter? It’s a common issue with grinding machines and can be extra frustrating if you can’t locate the cause. There are a few ways to troubleshoot grinding chatter.

Check your blade to see if it is properly clamped. It might have loosened up while grinding. Your wheel might also be out of balance so check that too. If your grinding cut is too heavy, then you should slow down your infeed amount. 

Adjust Your Wheel

When traverse grinding, allow your wheel to cut more freely by slowing down your traverse fee. This will prevent extra bouncing and vibration. You can also try using a softer wheel or making the wheel act softer.

To make the wheel act softer, we recommend trying one of the following individually to see what works: Increase the wheel infeed, increase the work spindle, decrease the wheel spindle, decrease the wheel diameter, or decrease the coolant lubricity.

Adjust Your Dress Feeds

You can also try adjusting your dress feeds. This will allow your wheel to cut faster and more freely. Keep in mind the faster you dress, the higher your surface finish will be. So you may have to play with it until you get it just right.

Finally, it’s possible that the machine is causing some vibration in the floor. Double check to see if there are any loose screws or something has come undone during setup. This includes looking at the belts to see that they have the correct tension and that there are no defects.

Did You Find Erratic Sizing?

If you’re seeing erratic sizing or workpiece inaccuracy, chances are the gibs were not properly adjusted on the upper and lower slides. Set the guides parallel to the wheel face.

It can also be a sign that the workpiece was not centered correctly or is at the wrong height. In addition, you must make sure that the wheel specification is correct. Try using a softer grade wheel. Balance and redress both the wheel and regulating wheel.

The coolant can come into play, so double check the quantity and quality. Last, erratic sizing could be because of your work being improperly rough ground. This could affect the sizing afterward.

Poor Finish?

There are a few things that could cause a poor finish on your work. Here, start by seeing if you’re set up is correct. Then, check your coolant. If you have enough, is it dirty at all? Make sure it is clean.

Last, check the face of the wheel to see if there is any oil on it. This could also affect your finish. 

Resin Bond Lifespan

Working with a resin bond grinding wheel? The poor results might be because this kind of wheel has a shorter lifespan than other grinding wheels. The great thing about these wheels is that they have the best self sharpness. But unfortunately, they don’t last as long.

The resin bond wheel has a high grinding efficiency, but to fix the using life, you could contact the factory to let them know. They will adjust the productive formula to increase the using life. You can also choose a finer grit number to extend its using life.

Good Luck in Your Daily Grind!

These are just a few of the grinding wheel issues you might face. If you want to learn more about grinding wheels and operations, check out our blog!

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