Saint-Gobain Abrasives has introduced its new Norton Abrasive Process Solutions (APS) Program which was established to help customers determine the optimal grinding or finishing solution for the application at hand, ranging from simple to complex, off-hand or automated, and for metal fabrication, production grinding and virtually any abrasives operation.
The grinding/abrasives market is rapidly changing, thanks to new technology, more flexibility and an attempt to lower customer costs. Productivity is at an all-time high in this market, and it’s only going to improve with further R&D. By the time IMTS 2014 rolls around this September, the gear market will have lots of new toys and gadgets to offer potential customers. If you haven’t upgraded any grinding/abrasives equipment in the last five years, now might be a good time to consider the investment.
Flexibility and productivity are the keywords in today’s grinding operations. Machines are becoming
more flexible as manufacturers look
for ways to produce more parts at a
lower cost. What used to take two
machines or more now takes just one.
For over 50 years, grinding has been an accepted method of choice for improving the quality of gears and other parts by correcting heat treat distortions. Gears with quality levels better than AGMA 10-11 or DIN 6-7 are hard finished, usually by grinding. Other applications for grinding include, but are not limited to, internal/external and spur/helical gear and spline forms, radius forms, threads and serrations, compressor rotors, gerotors, ball screw tracks, worms, linear ball tracks, rotary pistons, vane pump rotators, vane slots, and pump spindles.
In the quest for ever more exacting and compact commercial gears, precision abrasives are playing a key production role - a role that can shorten cycle time, reduce machining costs and meet growing market demand for such requirements as light weights, high loads, high speed and quiet operation. Used in conjunction with high-quality grinding machines, abrasives can deliver a level of accuracy unmatched by other manufacturing techniques, cost-effectively meeting AGMA gear quality levels in the 12 to 15 range. Thanks to advances in grinding and abrasive technology, machining has become one of the most viable means to grind fast, strong and quiet gears.
Grinding is a technique of finish-machining, utilizing an abrasive wheel. The rotating abrasive wheel, which id generally of special shape or form, when made to bear against a cylindrical shaped workpiece, under a set of specific geometrical relationships, will produce a precision spur or helical gear. In most instances the workpiece will already have gear teeth cut on it by a primary process, such as hobbing or shaping. There are essentially two techniques for grinding gears: form and generation. The basic principles of these techniques, with their advantages and disadvantages, are presented in this section.
Modern manufacturing processes have become an ally of the product designer in producing higher quality, higher performing components in the transportation industry. This is particularly true in grinding systems where the physical properties of CBN abrasives have been applied to improving cycle times, dimensional consistency, surface integrity and overall costs. Of these four factors, surface integrity offers the greatest potential for influencing the actual design of highly stressed, hardened steel components.
Hard Gear Finishing (HGF), a relatively new technology, represents an advance in gear process engineering. The use of Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) equipment ensures a high precision synchronous relationship between the tool spindle and the work spindle as well as other motions, thereby eliminating the need for gear trains. A hard gear finishing machine eliminates problems encountered in two conventional methods - gear shaving, which cannot completely correct gear errors in gear teeth, and gear rolling, which lacks the ability to remove stock and also drives the workpiece without a geared relationship to the master rolling gear. Such a machine provides greater accuracy, reducing the need for conventional gear crowning, which results in gears of greater face width than necessary.
Borazon is a superabrasive material originally developed by General Electric in 1969. It is a high performance material for machining of high alloy ferrous and super alloy materials. Borazon CBN - Cubic Born Nitride - is manufactured with a high temperature, high pressure process similar to that utilized with man-made diamond. Borazon is, next to diamond, the hardest abrasive known; it is more than twice as hard as aluminum oxide. It has an extremely high thermal strength compared to diamond. It is also much less chemically reactive with
iron, cobalt or nickel alloys.