Grinding is a finishing process used to improve surface finish, abrade hard materials, and tighten the tolerance on flat and cylindrical surfaces by removing a small amount of material.
In grinding, an abrasive material rubs against the metal part and removes tiny pieces of material. The abrasive material is typically on the surface of a wheel or belt and abrades material in a way similar to sanding. On a microscopic scale, the chip formation in grinding is the same as that found in other machining processes. The abrasive action of grinding generates excessive heat so that flooding of the cutting area with fluid is necessary.
Reasons for grinding:
The material is too hard to be machined economically. (The material may have been hardened in order to produce a low-wear finish, such as that in a bearing raceway.)
Tolerances required preclude machining. Grinding can produce flatness tolerances of less than ±0.0025 mm (±0.0001 in) on a 127 x 127 mm (5 x 5 in) steel surface if the surface is adequately supported.
Projects that have over sized components that needs grinding down to size or bring back down to tolerance (for example pistons, rods etc).
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