A grinding wheel is a tool that includes a variety of cutting edges made up of hard, crushed particles referred to as abrasives. The abrasives are crushed to assure a sharp edge for a good cut. The abrasive particles are held in place on the wheel with a bond. The wheels are sold in different sizes and mounts to a machine that turns it at rapid rotations per minute. The wheel is used to cut material off of surfaces to make those surfaces smooth.
One of two types of abrasives are used on the wheel –- natural abrasive that include diamond, quartz, and sand and artificial abrasives that include synthetic diamond, tin oxide, aluminum, oxide, or silicon carbide.
The most commonly used grinding wheels include:
- Straight grinding wheels
- Cylinder or wheel ring
- Tapered grinding wheels
- Straight cup
- Dish cup
- Saucer grinding wheels
- Diamond grinding wheels
- Depressed center grinding wheels
- Flexible grinding wheels
- Aluminum Oxide grinding wheels
- SRT grinding wheels
The straight grinding wheel is the most commonly used. It is used on edges and creates a bit of a concave surface.
The cylinder or wheel ring grinding wheels has no center mounting support and features a long and wide surface. The width of the wheel does not exceed 12-inches and is used in horizontal or vertical spindle grinders. This style of wheel produces a flat surface. The ending face of the wheel performs the grinding.
The tapered grinding wheel is straight and tapers externally toward the midpoint of the wheel. It is supposed to be stronger than straight wheels, so it accepts lateral loads. It is used for gear teeth, grinding threads, and other similar tasks.
The straight cup-grinding wheel offers an extra radial surface of grinding.
Dish cup grinding wheels are predominantly used in jig grinding or cutter grinding. The wheel is thin, which permits grinding in crevices and slots.
Saucer grinding wheels are commonly used for grinding twist drills and milling cutters. This wheel is widely used in non-machining applications and maintains saw blades.
Diamond grinding wheels feature industrial diamonds that are bonded to the edge of the wheel. They’re used to grind hard materials like concrete, gemstones, and carbide tips.
Depressed center grinding wheels are designed for grinding, weld dressing, and deburring.
The flexible grinding wheel merges the best elements of the depressed center-grinding wheel, resin fiber discs or sanding discs and flap discs. It is double reinforced with a top layer of non-woven fabric and an internal layer of reinforcing cloth. The result is improved safety and stability.
This wheel is versatile because it combines the benefits of traditional fiber discs, grinding wheels and flap discs. It is designed to fulfill all grinding, shaping, finishing or sanding needs.
In addition, the wheel is designed to offer more surface on the material being ground assuring grinding efficiency. Its use assures a smooth finish with blended contours and corners. It also absorbs vibration so the user experiences less fatigue.
The Aluminum Oxide grinding wheel is a general-purpose tool with a fast removal rate and is durable. It is typically used on non-ferrous materials to remove burrs or for grinding down welds.
The SRT grinding wheel is designed for maximum material removal and has the longest life. It is designed to work on stainless steel as well as high tensile alloys and maximizes productivity on carbon steel.
The wheels are ¼-inch thick with a diameter range from 4-1/2-inches to 9-inches. They come in standard arbor size, which is 7/8-inch. In addition, there is a 5/8-inch 11 spin on hub option available. Although the 5/8-inch wheels are more expensive, they are easily exchanged and eliminate the need for a nut on your grinder. The wheels are commonly used with the Metabo professional grinders. However, they work with any approved grinders on the market.