This paper presents some new research findings in the investigation of single-grit grinding in terms of surface creation. The investigation demonstrated that rubbing–plowing–cutting hypothesis of grinding material removal mechanism is valid in both experiments and simulations. A finite element model (FEM) was developed to simulate the material deformation during the grit interacts with the workpiece. It was found that the cutting mechanism is the more effective in the first half of the scratch where the grit penetrates the workpiece. The plowing is a prominent mechanism in the second half of the scratch where the grit is climbing up along the scratch path and uplifting the material at the front and the sides of it. This observation is very important to provide a greater insight into the difference between up-cut and down-cut grinding material removal mechanisms. Multipasses scratch simulations were performed to demonstrate the influence of plowing on the ground surface formation. Moreover, by analyzing the effects of grinding conditions, the shape of cutting edges, and friction in grinding zone on the grinding surface formation, some useful relations between grinding performance and controllable parameters have been identified. It has demonstrated that plowing has significant influences on ground surface formation and concluded that the influence of grit shape, friction, and grinding kinetic condition should be considered together for the plowing behavior control, which could provide a good guidance for the improvement of grinding efficiency.

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