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Edward L. Crosby III Local time: 06:29 Specializes in field Native speaker of: English PRO pts in category: 4
Thank you. This rings a bell. I'm sure I have heard of and maybe even used the term centerless grinding machine before.
52 mins confidence: peer agreement (net): +1
Support for Edward's answer
Explanation: It makes sense to me from my experience with lathes. Centerless (or centreless if you prefer) means that the workpiece is not chucked between centers for grinding. Since the workpieces in your description are long pieces, chucking might not be feasible.
"What Is Centerless Grinding?
Centerless grinding is an OD grinding process. It differs from other cylindrical processes in that the workpiece is not mechanically constrained. On traditional OD machines, the work is held between centers or chucked and rotated against the faster spinning grinding wheel by an external motor usually located in a workhead.
Unlike center-type or chucker-type grinding, parts made using a centerless process do not require center holes, drivers or workhead fixtures. Instead, the workpiece is supported on its own outer diameter by a workblade located between a high speed grinding wheel and a slower speed regulating wheel with a smaller diameter.
It's the relationship among these three basic components—grinding wheel, regulating wheel and workblade—that makes the difference between a successful centerless grinding application and one that gives headaches and bad parts.
Why Centerless Works
Setting the centerline of a workpiece on the centerlines of the grinding and regulating wheels will not produce rounding. In this setup, any high spot will create a diametrically opposite low spot. Over time, the workpiece will look like the exaggerated shape shown at the bottom.
In cylindrical grinding, understanding the process is relatively straightforward. A workpiece, supported by centers or a chuck, is rotated against the grinding wheel, which is fed in a prescribed distance radially (plunge grinding) or traversed axially across the workpiece to create the desired OD dimension.
On the centerless grinder there are no centers, so it would appear that there is no means to control the workpiece size or roundness. However, quite the opposite is true.
Centerless grinding, if set up properly, will achieve roundness, surface finish and dimensional tolerances that are among the best available in metalworking. Moreover, the process is able to improve the roundness of out-of-round workpiece blanks.