Surface generation processes involve convergence of both machining and tribological interactions between the tool and the work. Abrasive finishing is one among the many families of surface generation processes, of which grinding process is a sub-set. In a typical grinding process, six different interactions can be identified at the grinding zone resulting in surface generation. Of these six interactions one is governed by the principles of machining, while the other five are governed by the principles of tribology. Thorough analysis of these interactions helps to characterize and understand the role of both tribological mechanisms and machining interactions in a typical grinding process. Moreover, these interactions offer the grinding process a flexibility which has resulted in a series of process innovations over decades transforming the grinding process into a high material removal rate machining process as well as an ultra-fine finishing process. Historical developments as well as recent process innovations are presented in this review paper along with the common frame work for their analysis using a set of microscopic interactions applicable in all these cases.

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