A rotating instrument designed to create a circular surface on a flat surface is called a surface grinder. It is commonly used as an abrasive smoothing machine in which a rotating drum equipped with rough particles is used to cut chips of non-metal or metal material from a workpiece, leaving a nice, symmetrical, rounded profile. The main benefit of using a grinder is that it leaves behind a very consistent and high quality finish, even on tougher or thicker materials. One of the most common uses of these machines is in the aerospace and defense industry where high quality surfaces are a must.
There are many different kinds of grinders used for this type of work but the most popular among them is the wirefeed surface grinder. This machine operates in a similar way to a lathe or saw except that it has a continuous rotation in the motor while running thus providing a smoother, more even grind. The wire feed grinders used in the aerospace and defense industry mainly use stainless steel posts like those used in a lathe. They are often mounted on air-cooled, vibration-reduction stand-up machines.
The primary component of the grinding machine is the grinding wheel which is very similar to that of the lathe except that it has a continuous rotation. Some even incorporate the concept of a taper grind, meaning that the teeth of the grinding wheel are slightly rounded. Some grinding posts like those found in a lathe also include a grinding plate and a grinding wheel housing. These plates can be of various types depending on the type of project being worked on. For example, there are grinding plates suitable for light duty and high-stress applications such as the wheels seen on vibrating machinery.
There are two major types of grinding wheels used in a surface grinder. The first type is a CNC or “Computer Numerated Control” grinding wheel which is similar to a lathe’s rotating stand-up design. The second type is a fully computerized unit which is similar to a lathe’s chuck. The two types of units are completely different in how they work and the type of material they can work with. A CNC surface grinder incorporates a computer that controls and manages the unit to fully manage the distance and direction of the workpiece as well as the height of the grinding plate. In some cases, the unit can also incorporate a computerized program that limits the depth of the grind and allows the user to set the speed of the grind at any given time.
There are three types of grinding posts like the ones used in a surface grinder. These are tapered, flat, and conical. Each of these types of post has different advantages and disadvantages. For example, the flat and tapered grinders are commonly used in applications where accuracy is more important than a high degree of repeatability. Flat posts like the flat type have sharp ends but typically are not adjustable.
Another type of surface grinder is the conical type. This unit has sharp pointed teeth that fit against a rough surface and grind away at the material at a consistent rate. Conical surface grinders are normally not adjustable but they can be. The conical grinders are also best suited for drilling holes into solid materials without taking out too much material from the hole. The conical type of grinding posts like the flat type are generally used with a coarse abrasive material like stone or sand.