Manufacturing Index

Grinding /Abrasive Machining

Abrasive Machining

Abrasive machining uses hard non-metallic particles to machine the work surface.   Relevant processes include grinding, honing, superfinishing / abrasive belt machining and honing.  The first three processes uses abrasive particles (grit), rigidly held in a wheel, stone, or belt.   Lapping is based on the abrasive particles being retained in a fluid.


The grinding process is used to produce a high surface finish with a close tolerance and for machining hard materials.  The process is a variation of polishing using abrasive materials held together by an adhesive generally in the form of a solid wheel.   The wheel is rotated at high speeds and the circumferential surface of the rotating wheel is brought into contact with the material being machined.

Reasons for grinding:
  1. Removal of surplus material
  2. Production of high quality surface finishes
  3. Machining very hard materials
The two main abrasives used for grinding wheels are
  • Aluminium Oxide (for use on materials with a high tensile strength.
  • Silicon Carbide (for use on materials with a low tensile strength

The grinding wheel variables including: abrasive material, bonding material, abrasive particle size etc are selected depending on: required surface finish, metal removal rate, material, wheel speed etc.

Different Grinding Processes

Surface Grinder

The surface grinder is used in the toolroom for the production of accurate flat surfaces.   This machine has a similar layout to the horizontal milling machine but only removes small thicknesses of material on the grinding passes.

The Cylindrical Grinding Machine

This machine is use to generate cylindrical surfaces and is similar to a centre lathe in appearance.  The main difference is that the tool is replaced by a rotating grinding wheel.

The Vertical Grinding Machine

Information to be added...

The Centreless Grinding machine

This type of grinding machine is for pure cylindrical prism shapes which do not required mounting.  The workpieces are fed through two parallel rotating wheels: a conventional grinding wheel and a rubberised regulating wheel. The regulating wheel is inclined at a slight angle to facilitate axial movement (like a screw thread).

Links Providing information on Grinding
  1. Budget Machinery..Specifications of Machine Tools
  2. Grinding..Machine Shop Online Links to articles
  3. Library of Manufacturing;.. A complete document providing detailed info on all primary forming processes
  4. Practical Machinist ..Lots of forums and useful articles

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