There are a number of machine tools that have the capability of carrying out precision grinding and machining to very fine tolerances. These include lathes, milling machines and boring machines, which can all work to very precise measurements. However, when it comes to extremely high precision machining, cylindrical grinding or surface grinding machines are where the very highest precision is to be found.
Machining for Precision Grinding
Precision engineering and machining is usually considered to be where tolerances are in the range of between 0.015 millimetre and 0.001 millimetre. When you consider that the average thickness of a human hair is about 0.1 millimetre, or about a tenth part of a millimetre, you can immediately see that 0.001 millimetre, or one-thousandth part of a millimetre, is a very, very tiny measurement indeed!
West Midlands Grinding usually work to a tolerance of plus or minus 0.002 millimetres. That’s about a one-fiftieth part of the thickness of a human hair – a distance much smaller that the eye can detect. We also can achieve surface finishes of 0.1Ra, or 4um.
To put it in simple terms, this quality of surface finish is very shiny and smooth and has a highly polished look with absolutely no roughness whatsoever. In fact, working to such high tolerances and high quality surface finishes allows us to do away with the need for costly polishing procedures, making our products even more cost effective.
We use the centreless grinding process for cylindrical grinding, which has the work piece resting on a work rest blade and controlled by a grinding wheel and a control wheel. The control wheel is made from a bonded rubber material, and only the grinding wheel is abrasive. Both wheels revolve in the same direction, but at different speeds to facilitate cutting.
The surface grinding process is mainly used for flat surfaces. The work piece can be clamped in place, usually with a magnetic chuck, and the grinding wheel is moved against the stationary work piece. Alternatively, the work piece is moved against a stationary grinding wheel.
Here at West Midlands Grinding we have been offering a precision engineering and precision machining service for over 30 years. Our service includes centreless cylindrical grinding, as well as surface grinding. We are also certified up to ISO 9001:2008.