Grinding Wheels Information

How to Select Grinding WheelsHow to Select Grinding WheelsHow to Select Grinding Wheels

Image Credit: Norton Abrasives


Grinding wheels are used for metal removal, dimensioning, and finishing. They consist of an integral shank, pin, shaft, or mandrel that drives a mounted wheel or blades.


Types of Grinding Wheels


There are many types of grinding wheels, some of which are numbered by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).


  • Straight wheels are simple, flat discs without any recesses, flaring or cups.
  • Blank wheels can be customized for a variety of applications.
  • Cone wheels feature a curved or straight edge and, optionally, a nose radius.
  • Plug wheels offer a square or curved grinding end.
  • Cylindrical wheels feature a length that is equal to or greater than the thickness of the wheel.
  • Depressed center wheels exclude the mounting hardware from the grinding process.
  • Recessed wheels on one side are known as type 5. Recessed wheels on both sides are known as type 7.
  • Flaring-cup are known as type 11.
  • Straight-cup are known as type 6.
  • Tapered grinding wheels have a thicker cross section at the bore.
  • Dish

Grinding wheels use several types of abrasive grains.


  • Aluminum oxide, the most common industrial mineral in use today, is used either individually or with other materials to form ceramic grains.
  • Silicon carbide, a synthetic abrasive that is harder than aluminum oxide, is typically used with nonferrous materials such as brass, aluminum, and titanium.
  • Alumina-zirconia grains fuse aluminum oxide and zirconium oxide and are used to improve grinding performance on materials such as stainless steel.
  • Synthetic diamond superabrasives are used for grinding nonferrous metals, ceramics, glass, stone, and building materials.
  • Cubic boron nitride (CBN), another type of superabrasive, provides superior grinding performance on carbon and alloy steels. CBN is second only to diamond in terms of hardness.
  • Crushed tungsten carbide grits are used in metal-bonded products to abrade tough materials such as composites, fiberglass, reinforced plastics, and rubber. 


Specifications and features to consider when selecting grinding wheels include:


  • Grit size - Grit sizes are based on ANSI (U.S.), FEPA (European), JIS (Japanese), and Micron graded standards and describe both upper and lower limits.
  • Bond types - Bond types include resin, plastic, rubber, shellac, silicate or oxychloride, and vitrified glass.
  • Metal bond systems - Used mainly for superabrasive or tungsten carbide grit products. There are three basic types of metal bonds:
    • Sintered metal bond systems are used when a thicker layer of superabrasive is required.
    • Metal single layer (MSL) wheels consists of a specialized braze layer that forms a single layer of superabrasive.
    • Electroplated bonds are used to produce fine grit superabrasives.
  • Mounting options - Devices can be mounted with a plate, on a quill, or using a quick-change mechanism.
  • Structure - Open structure abrasives feature a low concentration. Conversely, closed structure abrasives feature a high concentration
  • Face type - Face types for grinding wheels include:
    • Angled or beveled face (E face) for threading or similar applications.
    • Tapered face (V, B faces) for fluting.
    • Rounded face (F face)
  • Outer diameter (OD)
  • Inner diameter (ID)
  • Thickness
  • Rotary speed 





Already an Engineering360 user? Log in.

This is embarrasing...

An error occurred while processing the form. Please try again in a few minutes.

Customize Your Engineering360 Experience

Category: Grinding Wheels
Privacy Policy

This is embarrasing...

An error occurred while processing the form. Please try again in a few minutes.