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New abrasive belts improve productivity of grinding operations.

Metalcasting companies looking to improve the productivity of their grinding operations first can aim to find better grinding belts that last longer and work faster.

Abrasive belts that can last longer and grind more parts will increase productivity by cutting down on belt changes, machine downtime and total grinding costs. A new belt, the SG Blaze R980 from Norton Abrasives Inc., Worcester, Mass., has shown a 50 to 200% improvement over other Norton seeded gel (SG) and competitive ceramic abrasive belts.

The Blaze belts feature an improved SG grain with a stronger wear resistance for faster cutting and longer belt life. Traditional grain shapes are blocky, but the ceramic grains on the Blaze belts are sharp and have aggressive cutting edges. During the grinding process, each grain continually fractures along sub-micron faults in the grains' crystalline structures to repeatedly expose new sharp cutting edges.

The belts' Y-weight polyester backing also contributes to their long belt life while offering better grain adhesion, enhanced edge-fray resistance and improved body retention. These features are combined with a resin system that provides better grain retention over past belt lines and a lubricant for cooler cutting.

In field trials on off-hand and pressure applications, the new belts delivered marked improvement over other abrasive belts. For instance, the R980 belt was put on trial in a side-by-side performance test in which the two different belts were used on an off-hand grinder for gate removal on 17-4 steel castings. The Blaze belt lasted through 56 gates (23.7 cu. in. [388 cu. cm.] of metal removed) compared to 35 gates (14.8 cu. in. [243 cu. cm] of metal removed) with the competitive ceramic belt, which is a 60% improvement.

In a separate test, the Blaze belt was tested against a competitive ceramic belt on a pressure assist grinder for gate removal on high nickel investment cast jet blades. In this trial, the R980 lasted through 170 blades compared to 80 blades by the other ceramic belt. Similar improvements were seen in a test using a robotic grinder to remove the gates on cobalt chrome prosthesis. The Blaze belt lasted for 211 parts and removed 14.4 lbs. (6.5 kg) of metal while the other ceramic belt removed the gates on 74 parts, removing 5.5 lbs. (2.5 kg) of metal.

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Title Annotation:Case History
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Feb 1, 2006
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