It is well known that centerless grinding processes allow parts to be held to tighter dimensional tolerances, achieve smoother surface finishes, and hold high degrees of straightness.
Beyond these obvious advantages, all centerless grinding processes offer the following 5 Not So Obvious Advantages:
- The grinding process is essentially continuous, because the loading time, when compared to grinding between centers, is exceedingly small.
- The work is rigidly supported directly under the grinding cut as well as for the full length of the cut. This means that no deflection takes place during the grinding operation, permitting heavier passes than grinding between centers.
- No axial thrust is imposed on the work while grinding. The absence of end pressure makes it possible to grind long pieces of brittle materials and to grind easily distorted parts.
- Because the error of centering is eliminated, a true floating condition exists during the grinding process. This results in less stock needed and longer wheel life / yield.
- Large quantities of smaller size work can be automatically ground by means of a magazine, gravity chute, or hopper feeder attachments, depending on the shape of the workpiece.
A few final thoughts: The degree of error in the centerless grinding process (setup or compensating for wheel wear) is reduced by half, since stock removal is measured on the diameter rather than the radius. Centerless grinding is a mature process, with few wear surfaces in the machine, and automatic lubrication, making maintenance a small part of the total cost of this process.