Products and manufacturing processes need to become more sustainable. Grinding tools and grinding processes are no exception. The wear of grinding tools is an important factor in their grinding performance and affects the grinding process outcome strongly. Different wear mechanisms on the grit and bond level lead to a change in tool profile and sharpness. This paper discusses and defines common terms used in the literature. Wheel wear occurs in three phases, initial wear, steady-state wear, and wheel collapse. In multi-layer tools, a steady self-sharpening state is preferable. This means that tool material loss is intrinsic to grinding processes and needed for the process to function. The G-ratio is a common parameter to evaluate tool life but not exhaustive. Economic, environmental and social sustainability of tool wear touches many different aspects which are sometimes contrary, e.g. in terms of economic sustainability tool manufacturers need tool wear to sell replacements, but tool wear leads to more waste and reduces environmental sustainability.

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