Episode: 107: Grinding, a pictorial odyssey

Published Date
April 20, 2021 - 02:15:pm

For twenty-five years I have been taking electron-microscope photos of grinding wheels, grinding grits, grinding swarf, ground workpieces and dressing diamonds. Why?

When I’m giving a course and flash a photo of grinding swarf, a dull grit in a grinding wheel or a worn diamond, people’s eyes pop out. Many have worked in grinding for 20 years or more but have never had the chance to visualize grinding up close. It changes their perspective — and helps them learn the material quicker and, consequently, improve their grinding.

At The Grinding Doc, we put together this short video with some of our more popular electron-microscope photos. Take a look. It might just change how you see grinding. We purposely didn’t add descriptions or scales. We wanted to emphasize the Zen-meditation effect!

However, if you’re interested in scales and descriptions, check back in a month or so. We’re currently putting together a descriptive version of the video.

Or consider attending a Grinding Doc course and you’ll learn in detail about each photo – and much, much more.

—Jeffrey Badger, Ph.D.
The Grinding Doc

About Jeffrey Badger, Ph.D., and the Grinding Doc Video Series: Thanks to his work as an independent grinding consultant and the author of the "Ask the Grinding Doc" column in Cutting Tool Engineering magazine, Badger routinely receives questions about grinding from shops all over the world. Through the magazine column and this video series, he provides shops with the insight and guidance they seek.

For more information about the Grinding Doc, visit his website here.

Related Glossary Terms

  • dressing


    Removal of undesirable materials from “loaded” grinding wheels using a single- or multi-point diamond or other tool. The process also exposes unused, sharp abrasive points. See loading; truing.

  • flash


    Thin web or film of metal on a casting that occurs at die partings and around air vents and movable cores. This excess metal is due to necessary working and operating clearances in a die. Flash also is the excess material squeezed out of the cavity as a compression mold closes or as pressure is applied to the cavity.

  • grinding


    Machining operation in which material is removed from the workpiece by a powered abrasive wheel, stone, belt, paste, sheet, compound, slurry, etc. Takes various forms: surface grinding (creates flat and/or squared surfaces); cylindrical grinding (for external cylindrical and tapered shapes, fillets, undercuts, etc.); centerless grinding; chamfering; thread and form grinding; tool and cutter grinding; offhand grinding; lapping and polishing (grinding with extremely fine grits to create ultrasmooth surfaces); honing; and disc grinding.

  • grinding wheel

    grinding wheel

    Wheel formed from abrasive material mixed in a suitable matrix. Takes a variety of shapes but falls into two basic categories: one that cuts on its periphery, as in reciprocating grinding, and one that cuts on its side or face, as in tool and cutter grinding.

  • swarf


    Metal fines and grinding wheel particles generated during grinding.


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