The success of a contractor hinges not only on their skill but also on the tools they use. This can make or break the project – quite literally.
If you work with heavy impact tools like grinding wheels, and you select the wrong one for the job, the result will be more than disappointing.
There’s a variety of elements you have to weigh up to pick the right one. But no one size fits all! For this reason, we’ve prepared a short overview of what’s essential when it comes to picking the best types of grinding wheels.
Let’s dive in!
Types of Grinding Wheels
Grinding wheel is a tool made of abrasive grains and bond matrix. When you use the grinding wheel, it removes the surface material from the selected object. But different materials require different setups.
Grinding wheels have several grades. A grade is a measurement that tells you how strongly the bond holds the abrasive grains.
There’s a soft grade that’s meant for hard materials such as steel. It’s best used on larger surfaces and not very suited for precise work.
The hard grade is suitable for soft materials. It usually has a narrow area of contact. It will last you longer than a soft grade.
The size of a grinding wheel is varied. The usage can range from car repairs to construction work. Wheels themselves have different types, as well.
Straight wheels might be the most common type. It’s used to create slight inward curves.
Cylinder wheels are recommended for creating a flat surface, while diamond wheels are better suited for harder materials. Small mounted wheels fare often used in grinding that requires precision.
Once you decide on the grinding job you want doing, there’s a wide selection of options at your disposal. Keep in mind that selecting the wrong type can cause unwanted grinding wheel issues.
Types of Abrasives
No discussion about types of grinding wheels would be complete without mentioning the main element.
There are two classes of abrasives: conventional and super abrasives. Conventional class includes aluminum, silicon, and ceramic. While diamond belongs to super abrasives, these two classes can be divided into smaller types.
The most common and often used abrasive is aluminum-oxide. They’re commonly used to grind steel in metalwork projects. The toughness of this abrasive depends on the purity of the material.
If you have an aluminum-oxide wheel, it should serve you for a long time. The color indicates it’s extremely tough and can be used on many hard metals.
Silicon-carbide wheels are more fragile than aluminum-oxide. They’re fit to cut into cement, stone, or soft metals. These abrasives are sharp, but break down quickly.
Light pressure projects are best for them. However, if needed, it can withstand tough materials.
Ceramic abrasives are derived from aluminum-oxide. This type cuts fast and is strong but sensitive to heat. Ceramic abrasives are best used on high-performance nickel alloys.
The microcrystalline structure is used in ceramic types. This ensures that the material is self-sharpening.
One more type is diamond. They can grind hard materials. Diamond abrasives can even be used to grind aluminum oxide tools. However, in the industry, manufactured diamond has replaced the natural one due to expenses.
There are several other types like zirconia alumina for removing stock or cubic boron nitride for tough steel.
Types of Grit and Bond
Grit is a measurement that shows how the abrasive grains are distributed on the wheel. The size can be coarse, normal, or fine.