What is Dressing and Why Does Your Grinding Wheel Need It?
Rob Titus 03.18.2020
Like any cutting tool, grinding wheels see wear and tear over time, which can lead to poor surface finishes and part quality. Using dressing throughout the grinding process is important to consistently produce parts with the required size and surface finish.
Instead of replacing the entire grinding wheel, a process called “dressing” is used to restore the wheel. Dressing returns the grinding wheel to its original sharpness by removing old grains to reveal the fresh grain underneath. It removes clogs, dulled abrasive grains, and excess bonding material to help minimize vibration, thereby improving surface finish. Dressing also helps restore the shape of the wheel which changes over time due to wheel wear. The following are types of dressing and the different tools used to get the job done:
Types of Dressing
There are two main types of dressing: truing and standard dressing. Truing is a type of dressing that is performed after installing a new grinding wheel. Truing can be performed to straighten the grinding wheel/removing runout or it can be done to form the grinding wheel into a desired form (shape). Standard dressing occurs at varying intervals during the grinding process. The frequency of standard dressing depends on many factors such as amount of material being removed, surface finish requirements, and accuracy of forms required on the grinding wheel.
TYPES OF DRESSING TOOLS
Stationary diamond dressing tool – There are several types of stationary dressing tools:
- Single-point cone tool - A single-stone diamond is embedded in one shank. This tool is good for complicated forms and radius dressing. As the diamond wears, a flat will develop, resulting in a dull grinding wheel. As a result, frequent rotation of the diamond tool is required.
- Blade tool - A blade tool has several natural or synthetic diamond logs embedded into the blade tip. This tool is good for complicated forms and radius dressing. No rotation is required for this dressing tool.
- Multi-point tool - This tool has many small diamonds embedded into the diamond section. This tool is only good for straight or taper dressing—it can’t be used for dressing a form into the wheel.
Rotary diamond dressing tools - These require a rotary dressing spindle to rotate:
- Rotary dressing diamond disc - This is a narrow disc that has diamonds embedded in the outside diameter. The disc is traversed across the grinding wheel to dress the required shape into the grinding wheel.
- Rotary dressing diamond roll - This is a wide roll that is shaped to the specific shape required on the grinding wheel and is plunged into the grinding wheel to dress the required shape.
What you use to dress the wheel is entirely dependent on whether the grinding wheel needs to be trued or dressed, the required cycle time, as well as several other factors. The types of dressing tools include stationary diamond tool, rotary diamond disc, or rotary diamond roll.
- A stationary diamond tool has a long dressing time, flexible shape, and short diamond life.
- A rotary diamond disc has a medium dressing time, flexible shape, and long diamond life.
- A rotary diamond roll has a short dressing time, fixed shape, and long diamond life.
Proper dressing of the grinding wheel will ensure an accurate and consistent grinding process. If you need help choosing the right dressing tool or need advice on your dressing process, contact your local distributor or reach out to us through the form below.