Abrasive Wheels

Definition - What does Abrasive Wheels mean?

These are powered wheels used in workshop grinder machines (fixed or portable), and are made up of small abrasive particles (grit) that have been stuck together by a bonding material to form wheel structures of different thickness. Therefore, abrasive wheels are defined by:

  • The grit size
  • The bonding or coating material
  • The abrasive material used
  • The wheel grade
  • The wheel structure

They are used for surface modification or preparations (external or internal) by periphery grinding, abrasive cut-off and face grinding standard designs; they (disc) can also be used for cutting materials. Some are used for polishing, deburring, sanding and finishing.

Corrosionpedia explains Abrasive Wheels

The hardness, toughness, relative resistance and friability (ability to expose new sharp edges when the cutting edge becomes dull-self sharpening) is determined by the abrasive material used in making the wheel. Some of the common material used include compounds of silicon, boron and aluminum.

The bonding or coating material to be used will define the structure and shape integrity of the wheel when in use. The bonding material should be able to resist shock, centripetal and other forces, high temperatures, and frictional forces that might lead to the shuttering of the wheel.

The wheel structure defines the grain spacing and the grade to be used. The structure defines the volume on the basis of pores and spacing between the bonding material and the abrasive material.

The grade (hard or soft) is now determined by scaling the strength of the bonding material in retaining the abrasive particles when in use. Soft abrasive wheels are normally used on hard materials and hard abrasive wheels on soft materials.

The abrasive wheels are selected according to the following specifications:

  • The speed of the machine spindle
  • The type of surface modification
  • The area of contact between the wheel and the material
  • The type of machine
  • The state of the wheel
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