You may be looking through our processes and wondering: do we use metal grinding? Why isn’t grinding, the art of cutting metal away with an abrasive tool, on our site?
Grinding is a popular process to treat stone, giving tumbled rocks luster without needing lacquer. It’s also used to shape metal, take away density, and even etch.
You may have heard it’s comparable to sanding own wood, right? Wrong! Here are a few facts about grinding metal:
Grinding is actually cutting
Grinding metal isn’t like using sandpaper. The grinding wheel typically cuts away pieces of metal instead of rubbing them away like sandpaper. It’s more like drilling away the metal. Most grinding wheels are made of aluminum of silicone compounds that tear away at the metal until it’s at the desired thickness, smoothness, or with the desired engraving.
What kind of grinder?
There are tons of different grinders used to treat metal. Everything from the wheel structure to abrasive size is considered when picking out a grinder. And like nearly everything else in metal manufacturing, specific types of wheel and machines are named with a sequence of letters and numbers that can be confusing to keep up with.
The types of grinders also have to do with the shape of the metal itself. If you’re trying to round the metal, a cone or cylinder grinder will do the trick. If you’re grinding down a round slab, a round grinder will be used.
Grinding metal is often done by hand, so it’s not necessarily effective for mass-producing etched metal products. Even if it’s mass-produced, sheets need to be processed through the grinder one by one and it can take longer. Laser-cutting, for instance, is faster and less expensive for most mass-produced goods and services.
Do we use grinding?
In order to give you the most cost-effective products for your machines, we favor acid etching, laser cutting and CNC machining for stripping away metal for etching. However, grinding metal is often used to cut a slab of metal to size, or make a plate thinner.