Optimum utilization of grinding wheels can best be achieved if the nature of their performance and wear characteristics, and the factors that affect these characteristics, are understood and applied. As reported in this paper, a comprehensive, continuing, grinding-research program has contributed to such an understanding.

A study of the nature of grinding-wheel wear indicates that the grinding-wheel wear curve is similar to those of other cutting tools. It demonstrates further that the type of grinding operation significantly affects the nature of wheel wear. A unique technique has been developed for very accurately measuring grinding-wheel wear. This measured wear may be translated into terms of “grinding ratio,” which is the generally accepted parameter for measuring wheel wear. It is the ratio of the volume of metal removed per unit volume of wheel worn away.

Extensive studies have been carried out to determine the effect of mechanical variables on grinding ratio, power required in metal removal, and on surface finish. Experimental findings indicate that grinding ratio decreases with increased metal-removal rate and increases with workpiece diameter, decreased chip load, and increased concentration of grinding fluid. Power is found to increase with both the metal-removal rate and the amount of metal removed. It increases slightly with workpiece diameter and is affected little by work-material hardness. Surface finish is found to improve with decreased metal-removal rate and decreased chip load. It also is affected little by work diameter or work-material hardness.

Fundamental research in the mechanics of wheel wear is supplying much additional information in the study of grinding-wheel wear. The measurement of grinding forces employing a cylindrical grinding dynamometer provides the opportunity for relating the wear of grinding wheels to the basic mechanics of the process through such fundamental quantities as grinding forces, specific energy, and grinding friction.

Two additional experimental techniques for the study of chip formation in grinding have also proved to be most useful research tools. A “quick-stop” apparatus is used to freeze the grinding action by accelerating a tiny workpiece almost instantaneously to grinding-wheel speed. Another technique permits the comparison of the shape of the grinding grit and that of the contour of its path through the workpiece by a unique replicating method.

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