A company specializing in superabrasive grinding wheels has developed a high-performance bonding technology that it says can reduce grind cycle times by 25%.
With the influx of baby boomers entering their 60s, the demand for orthopedic implants and heart valves is on the rise. Because these products are meant to go inside the body, they require precise tolerances and superior surface quality. But with the increasing use of such materials as ceramics for these components, surface quality is becoming more difficult to achieve, according to Bruce Northrup, general manager of Meister Abrasives USA.
“The materials they [OEMs] are using in the components that they’re grinding are becoming harder and more difficult to grind, and that means that we need tougher abrasive solutions to cope with that,” he says.
Answering this call for tougher abrasive solutions, Meister, a manufacturer of superabrasive grinding wheels, has developed a high-performance bonding (HPB) technology that it avers can reduce grind cycle times by 25% and may double wheel life. The technology is a vitrified bonding process set apart by its different bonding material chemistry and a modified manufacturing method.
“One of the challenges for abrasives manufacturers is producing grinding wheels that have a lot of porosity, that can cut very efficiently and very cool with minimal friction, and can also last longer as people are looking to reduce their abrasive costs per component,” Northrup notes. Meister has met this challenge head on. Since the HPB technology forms strong bonds, less bonding material is used and wheels are more porous than with previous bonding methods, according to the company. Consequently, wheels have better grip exposure and grind faster. Furthermore, enhanced porosity enables wheels to cut with less friction and heat, resulting in minimal subsurface damage to the components, as well as a better overall surface quality and finish, Northrup says.
The company also cites cost-effectiveness as an advantage for OEMs. Meister asserts that, because the new chemistry holds onto the abrasive for a longer time than with previous bonds, the wheel will experience less wear. As a result, customers can grind more parts per wheel than in the past.
HPB technology can be employed in the company’s full product line, which includes internal and external vitrified cubic boron nitride wheels ranging in diameter from 1 to 700 mm.
Meister Abrasives USA, North Kingstown, RI