A Look at Precision Tool Grinding

Precision tool grinding includes the main types of grinding that are of concern to injection mold makers, tool and die makers, and precision machining professionals. This type of  toolmaking is important, and is in common use all over the industrialized world.

Many of the manufactured items we all use on a daily basis are the direct result of precision grinding. The  tools used in mass production are not wrenches and screwdrivers, but rather injection molds, progressive and stamping dies, and production machinery.

All of these production tools require close tolerance finishing in order to properly function. The mating parts, such as a shaft and bearing surface, must fit very accurately, otherwise they will fail. It is the same with punches and dies, mold cores and cavities, and just about everything else associated with manufacturing machinery.

Why industrial dust collectors are important

One of the problems surrounding any grinding operation is the dust and mist removal. Just imagine the amount of dust and grit that would be generated by grinding away 1/8 in. of steel from a piece of steel the size of a notebook. This happens everyday in many shops, and an industrial dust collector solves this problem.

These collectors use a variety of filtering methods to keep the atmosphere clean and healthy. Without the these filters, the entire shop would soon be covered with dust and slimy residue.

The industrial tools are made of  steel and carbide

These are the main two materials used in production machinery. Both are commonly ground, but require much different grinding accessories and wheels. Steel grinding uses aluminum oxide, CBN and silicon carbide wheels. Carbide uses diamond, and silicon carbide wheels.

Carbide is one of the hardest materials known to man, and it requires a great deal of expertise to work with. A great solution to this problem is the wire EDM machine. This machine uses electricity to erode the carbide and is able to cut highly accurate shapes of almost any shape or contour.

Precision grinders

A good manual or CNC grinder is easily capable of holding very close tolerances in the workpiece. Close, in this case, means .0001 in./.0025 mm. How small is that? Just imagine splitting a cigarette paper 3 times in the thickness, and you have the type of dimension toolmakers deal with everyday!

The jig-grinder, cylindrical grinder, ID/OD grinder, tool and cutter grinder are all designed to maintain this type of tolerance. Operating these precision machines requires a great deal of expertise, however, once they are up and running in a production set-up, very little attention is needed.

Surface grinding wheels

These wheels are made in a huge variety of sizes and shapes. You might use a wheel as small as .010 in. diameter, all the way up to over 24 in. diameter! The tiny wheels are often used in the jig grinder and are made of cubic boron nitride, or CBN.

The huge surface grinding wheels used to work on large machinery or steel plates are usually made of aluminum oxide. Sometimes they are made in sections, which is easier to manufacture and adjust.

As you can see, precision tool grinding ranges from the micro to huge! People rarely think about things like this, and tend to take such skilled professions for granted.

Post time: 03-27-2017