If you are in the machining or fabrication business, you have a wide range of tools at your disposal. But what happens when something as hard as carbide needs sharpening or reshaping? Carbide grinding can be a difficult task and you’ll want to use the best possible tools and methods for the job. Here are 4 tips to help.
1. Use the Hardest Tools
When grinding hard metal (like tungsten carbide) you need something special. About the only thing harder is diamond grit. However, in some cases you may be able to use cubic boron nitride, which is often called CBN. It is commonly used to grind steel and because it is chemically stable, it can be used in operations which generate high heat. However, diamond wheels are considered to be the standard.
2. Proper Grit Size is Essential
When you are fluting or doing heavy grinding, consider a coarse grit. General grit sizes are best for medium grade carbide grinding and for finishing jobs, you should consider a fine grit. Although this seems like common sense, some machinists try to cut corners by using what is available at the time and this is where trouble can start, especially with hard materials.
3. Keep Coolant as Clean as Possible
For difficult grinding jobs, you need coolant which dissipates heat as well as lubricates. Clean coolant will get rid of heat faster than coolant with contaminants. In order to get the most lubrication, make sure you have sufficient coolant pressure also.
4. Make Full Use of CNC Carbide Grinding Methods
Does your software support the task you need to perform? If not, you could run into all kinds of problems. If your machine has dry run capabilities, you should use them. This ensures you have everything properly set up. Otherwise you could end up with a lot more scrap than you planned on.