When we need to fabricate a material to a desired finish and dimension, we use the machining process of grinding. There is a wide range of smoothing methods, so it is important to choose the proper machining process for your intended application. If you do not, you could jeopardize the quality and outcome of your project. Two common methods are Blanchard and precision grinding. Continue reading to learn the difference between these two types of smoothing methods, so you can better choose the process that meets your fabrication application needs.
Blanchard grinding is machining process that is commonly referred to as rotary surface grinding. It was developed in the early 1900’s by a company called the Blanchard Machine Company. The most common application for rotary surface smoothing is large-surface stock removal. For this application, it is preferred over precision smoothing because it is simply more economical. It is also preferred for its distinguishable surface finishing marks it leaves behind. They are considered aesthetically appealing to some people.
To grind large ferrous (containing iron) materials with this method of machining, it is common to use magnets to hold it in place as the smoothing carries on. On the other hand, it does still work well with non-ferrous metals that do not contain iron or other trace ferrous elements, so long as alternative latching devices are used. That is because non-ferrous materials are not magnetic.
Examples of Blanchard Grinding Applications:
- Sectioned Plate Stock
If you have a small surface to work with, then precision grinding is the right machining process for the job. This method is primarily used for materials with small surface areas that require an exceptionally flat finish or a strict level of parallelism. There are other forms of precision smoothing as well, such as horizontal spindle surface grinding, which uses a rotating abrasive wheel that comes into contact with the surface of the material. Cylindrical grinding is another type of precision smoothing, and is very similar to horizontal spindle surface grinding. The main difference is that it is used for rounded surface areas. Additional types include centerless grinding, creep feed grinding, and internal diameter grinding.
The abrasives that are commonly used for precision grinding include aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, and zirconia alumina. And sometimes, lubricants are used to regulate high temperatures during grinding. Common applications for precision smoothing include machine components, castings, stampings, shafts, bushings, pistons, cylinders, dies, and molds.