Improving the performance of profiled grinding wheels with a novel surface texturing robot
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This work explores the improvement of a profile grinding process by creating grooves on the surface of a grinding wheel. Grooved grinding wheels have been shown by many authors to reduce the process forces, process temperatures and specific energy of the grooving process, thereby allowing higher grinding productivity. However, the use of grooved grinding wheels has never been explored for profile grinding applications, which differ in several ways from flat grinding processes. The main objectives of this work are to (1) investigate the state-of-the-art of grinding wheel grooving methods; (2) design, build and validate a method to produce helical grooves on profile grinding wheels; and (3) demonstrate the effects of helical grooves on the performance of a profile grinding operation and compare the performance to a conventional profile grinding wheel. An in-depth review of grinding wheel grooving technology literature was conducted. Using information from the literature review, a device capable of grooving grinding wheels was designed, built and validated. This device was found to be capable of producing groove geometries to within an accuracy of +/-10 micrometers. To achieve the desired accuracy, a novel kinematic error compensation method was developed as a part of the design of the grooving device. The device was then used to groove a profile grinding wheel. A grooved profile grinding process was found to have a 50% lower specific energy than a non-grooved process and significantly lower process forces. Furthermore, the grooved profile grinding wheel was capable of taking a depth of cut four times deeper than a non-grooved profile grinding wheel before process failure occurred. The grooved profile grinding wheel was found to produce a surface roughness approximately 80% larger than the non-grooved profile grinding wheel.