Similar to other machines, grinding wheels will wear down with use and as time goes on. This leads to poor part quality and surface finishes. Instead of replacing your grinding wheel, you can use a process referred to as "dressing" to restore the wheel to its former glory. Dressing a grinding wheel is the key to maximizing the performance and longevity of your tool. In this blog, we will discuss what dressing is, the benefits, and the types of tools to use.
What is Dressing?
If you have noticed your grinding wheel is producing parts with inconsistencies then it may be time to dress your wheel. Dressing is used to remove grains, clogs, and excess bonding material from the wheel in order to return to its original surface finish and sharpness. In addition, dressing is also used to help restore the wheel's shape which changes with wear.
Types of Dressing and Tools
When it comes to dressing, there are two main methods: truing and standard dressing. Truing is performed at the time of installation. Truing can straighten the wheel and form it into its desired shape. On the other hand, standard dressing is used throughout the grinding process. Standard dressing is typically performed on an as-needed basis depending on the amount of material being removed, surface finish requirements and the accuracy required.
Now that you know the methods of dressing, let's discuss the types of tools you can use. What you use to dress your grinding wheel is dependent on the required cycle time as well as whether it needs to be trued or dressed. Here are the three main types:
- Diamond Dressers
Grinding wheels are critical for achieving precise finishes, so they need to be maintained.
Rotary dressers are a high precision grinding tool that is used most often for profiling the wheels. Many high-tech industries that manufacture and produce high precision machine parts use rotary dressers. Since rotary dressers can be tied into already existing grinding machine controls, they are a great option for use with centerless, ID, OD, and double-disc grinders.
Dressing Stones and Sticks
Dressing stones are used for profiling, dressing, and sharpening grinding wheels. These stones are typically made of aluminum oxide or silicon carbide which is why they're abrasive and suitable for this application. Aluminum oxide dressing sticks are another great option as well. Aluminum oxide tools are often used to dress tools that are made from diamond. Due to their aforementioned properties, diamonds are easily sharpened with aluminum oxide.
Benefits of Dressing a Grinding Wheel
In order to continue producing precise and quality parts, dressing a grinding wheel is essential for maintaining the productivity requirements of your shop. As you produce parts, you will notice that your grinding wheel's surface begins to wear away. By dressing your grinding wheel as routine maintenance you are maintaining the maximum efficiency and life of your wheel so that you can continue to produce high-quality parts.