Superabrasives and diamond tools include grinding wheels, abrasive saw blades, wheel dressers, single-point tools, and other products that use diamond or cubic boron nitride (CBM) abrasive grains. Diamond is a superabrasive grain with the highest known hardness and a cubic crystal structure. Typically, diamond superabrasives and diamond wheels are used for grinding nonferrous metals, ceramics, glass, stone, and building materials. Cubic boron nitride (CBN), another superabrasive grain, is second only to diamond in terms of hardness. CBN superabrasives have a cubic crystal structure and provide superior grinding performance on carbon and alloy steel. Superabrasives and diamond wheels with metal-clad abrasive grains are also available.
Types of Superabrasives and Diamond Tools
There are many different types of superabrasive products. Choices include abrasive grains and powders, blank or custom wheels, cutoff wheels and section blades, diamond tools and dressers, dish wheels, flaring cups, hand hones, hand pads, and honing sticks and honing tools. Mounted points, abrasive burrs, straight wheels, ring or disc wheels, tapered body wheels, sheets or rolls, straight cups, superabrasive belts, superabrasive discs, and superabrasive files are also available. Superabrasives and diamond tools with recessed or relieved wheels have a sunken area on one or both sides. ANSI type 6, type 5 and type 11 wheels fall under this category.
Superabrasives and diamond tools differ in terms of grit size, grading system, applications, and materials abraded. Grit sizes are based on grading systems that size grits through specified upper and lower limits at certain points in the size distribution. These grading systems are designated as ANSI, ANSI – CAMI, FEPA – P, FEPA-F, JIS, and micron-graded. Applications for superabrasives and diamond wheels include dry grinding, wet grinding, material removal, intermediate cutting and finishing, finishing and deburring, polishing and lapping, contour and edge-sanding, and cylindrical or centerless grinding. Material abraded for superabrasives and diamond wheels include paint, ceramics, and glass; construction, metalworking, ophthalmic, and woodworking materials; and semiconductors and electronics.
In addition to rotary speed and surface speed, superabrasives and diamond wheels carry specifications for bond type, features, and mounting style. There are three main bond types: metal, resin or resinoid, and vitrified. Features for superabrasives and grinding wheels include slotted blades, slicing blades, and low or high concentration. There are many different mounting styles for superabrasives and diamond wheels, including none or handheld, bore or center mount, hook and loop, integral mandrel, adhesive, quick change, and quill mount.