Anyone tasked with heavy stock removal can attest to the headaches that come with the job. There’s the obvious worker fatigue component, which can make the process unpleasant, but there’s also the fact that most workers using a grinding wheel or disc have other important tasks that they still have to perform throughout the day.
Grinding has been labeled as one of the least understood metalworking processes in the fabrication shop, and given the skills gap, quality end results can be difficult to attain. For example, take the heat imposed to the workpiece via the pressure and friction of the spinning abrasive – aspects that can certainly compromise the integrity of the workpiece material overall as well as shorten the lifespan of the disc. Using the wrong techniques and the wrong abrasives only amplifies the problem.
Pferd Inc. offers more than 5,700 grinding, cutting and surface finishing products, and recently, a new abrasive labeled Victograin was added to the company’s line of product offerings. It’s touted as a high-performing, fast-working abrasive that offers less heat buildup in the workpiece and provides consistent workpiece surface roughness.
Whether it’s leveling, deburring, surface work, work on edges or work on weld seams, using the right abrasive, such as Victograin, can be the ibuprofen for the heavy stock removal headache.
Victograin abrasives feature a triangular, precision-formed grain, one side of which is securely fixed to the substrate. The grain’s slim design offers an extremely large chip space, which improves machining efficiency.
To ensure good wear characteristics, each triangular piece of grain contains small crystals inside of it that provide a sharp cutting edge that’s always exposed to the workpiece. The triangles are identical in shape and size and are set at an angle so the contact with the workpiece is optimal.
Because of their makeup, each grain requires very little pressure to penetrate the workpiece, which is a bonus for the operator tasked with heavy stock removal. With a reduction of pressure, there is a corresponding reduction in heat buildup on the workpiece, which improves surface finish.
Reducing heat buildup is a goal for most abrasive manufacturers, as over time, the cutting points have a tendency to wear flat, which causes more friction and heat. The heat can fracture the grain and, eventually, the substrate material that holds them in place can be compromised.
Victograin, however, is built with active grinding additives in the coating, which improves stock removal rate, prevents clogging and perhaps
more importantly – results in cooler grinding. For the budget conscious and those who don’t want to eat up valuable time changing out worn discs, the Victograin abrasive touts long product life.
“Victograin is among the most effective abrasives worldwide,” said Jörn Bielenberg, CEO at Pferd, in a press release. “A series of comprehensive tests under a wide variety of conditions have demonstrated that it is vastly superior to conventional ceramic oxide grain, not to mention special derivatives and developments based on ceramic oxide grain. What’s more, Victograin offers end users a level of profitability that provides a buffer in terms of costs, which is always crucial.”
Back It Up
Also important in grinding are the backing pads used to hold the abrasive to the tool. For example, Pferd has engineered the Combiclick quick-mounting system, which includes the Combiclick fiber disc with quick change arbor and Combiclick backing pads that the fiber disc fits into. The two-part system minimizes tool change times. The backing pad is constructed with cooling slots, the geometry of which allows high throughput of air, reducing thermal loads by up to 30 percent on the workpiece, amplifying the Victograin heat reduction properties.
Combiclick backing pads come in CC-GT and CC-H-GT types. The latter is used mainly for work on stainless steel (Inox), and features high edge strength, which allows the user to apply more contact pressure. The CC-GT is highly flexible, which is optimal when working on contours.
Like the name implies, Victograin-Cool type fiber discs are for aggressive grinding and heavy stock removal on steels and materials that are hard or have poor heat-conducting properties. Likewise, CC-Grind-Solid discs feature Victograin abrasives, are used for steel workpieces and are easy to mount to an angle grinder, and offer a soft and flexible grinding performance. In addition to offering reduced noise and vibration by up to 50 percent, dust is reduced by 80 percent.
To round out Pferd’s Victograin offerings, customers will find the company’s mini discs quite useful. These Combiclick mini fibre discs are available with a CD or CDR mount. Not only can they get into tight spaces, but they can perform like their bigger counterparts, removing stock in record time with consistent finishes.
When Victograin is featured on a disc, users will see better results in a variety of applications when compared to traditional abrasive products. And the variety of applications runs the gamut.
Currently, Pferd is testing Victograin with a major shipbuilder on the West Coast, which is seeing good results. The shipyard focuses on shipbuilding and fabrication and repair on fishing trawlers all the way to complex government and defense programs.
Most of the grinding is on carbon steel I-beams and pipe, including angle grinding and a ton of weld removal. Considering the range of repair and fabrication work performed at the shipyard, the speed of the Victograin product as well as the longevity it delivers to the abrasive are major selling points.
Many industries beyond shipbuilding, of course, will find value in using the Victograin product, including aerospace, automotive, construction, oil and gas, marine, metalworking/fabrication and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO). Additional applications can be found in DIY fabrication and repair as well as in the production of heavy machinery used in industries like agriculture and mining.
Despite the tiny profile of a single triangular grain, the Victograin abrasive is a mighty addition to any grinding or deburring job – especially those that are heavy in nature. And although grinding has been labeled as one of the least understood processes, with the right abrasive, it’s much easier for users to attain quality end results.