Blanchard grinding is used to quickly remove stock from one side of a large part. Typically, ferrous metals are subjected to the Blanchard grinding process, since the part is often held in place by a magnetic chuck as it is ground. It is, however, possible to use Blanchard grinding on non-ferrous metals and even plastics, but production rates tend to be lower and costs are higher (due to added setup time).
Blanchard grinding leaves a specific finish pattern on surfaces, produced by the nature of the operation, and of the movement of grinding tools across the surface. Technically referred to as rotary surface grinding, the process is ideal for surfaces too large for disc grinding, such as plate stock, die blocks and rotary tables. Although it uses far more horsepower than other grinding services, turnaround time is much faster for certain parts; the process can be used simultaneously on multiple parts, as well, also leading to reduced production times and expense.
In a Blanchard grinding machine, the grinding wheel is mounted on a vertical spindle, and moves in a direction counter to the rotation of the magnetic chuck. Before grinding, surfaces should be relatively even, without any significant protrusions. The tolerances provided by Blanchard grinding machines can be as little as one-thousandth of an inch, with similar flatness. Tolerances, however, vary between materials and work pieces. Due to the design and operation of a Blanchard grinding machine, it will grind different work pieces to a uniform size, a benefit for extensive production runs.
Blanchard grinding gets its name from the Blanchard Machine Company, a specialist in rotary grinding machines. The process is an excellent choice for applications requiring high-production rates and moderate finish accuracy.
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