The centerless grinding process is one where a set of rotary wheels are used to remove material from an object or work piece. The process is preferred for manufacturing where a large number of work pieces must be handled and processed in a relatively short period of time.
Centerless grinding is a process that has been a part of manufacturing for nearly 100 years. The process helps solve one of the limitations of other types of turning machines such as lathes and mills. The centerless grinding process is better suited to deal with the limitations imposed on lathes and mills with respect to the size, material type, and finishes of different surfaces that may not be as adaptable to other machining processes.
The centerless grinding process is distinguished by the method employed to remove material from the work piece. It can be classified either as the through-feed, end-feed, or in-feed type of centerless grinding.
Through-feed centerless grinding is used for work objects with a roundness throughout the piece. The object, in this process, is fed along a rest plate between a set of wheels, a regulating wheel and a grinding wheel. The way in which the object is fed, through the use of the regulating wheel applied at an angle relative to the grinding wheel, causes the object to self feed itself through.
The end-feed centerless grinding process differs from through-feed in that the object is not fed through the grinder but instead is placed through in one side of the machine and comes to rest against a stop installed at the other side. Pieces that are tapered in shape are fed through this type of process.
Finally, in-feed centerless grinding is used when a more specialized cut into a work object is required. The object is loaded manually intothe grinder and the wheels are adjusted accordingly in order to match the desired cut. Objects that are more complex by design (such as a vehicle’s gear shaft) would be treated with this type of centerless grinding process.