When tolerance is key it is vital to choose the correct partner for your precision grinding operations

The precision industry requires parts to have tighter tolerances and attain a specific surface finish whilst maintaining a low production input cost per unit, a challenging factor for many when wanting to maintain a competitive edge in the market.


To achieve optimum performance, one needs to consider the complete grinding process. Correct coolant supply to the grinding wheel and workpiece is of utmost importance, machine spindle bearings must be in good condition to ensure vibration free grinding and sharp enough diamond dressers to open and not close the grinding wheel face are but a few factors that influence the overall process, vital to achieve optimal grinding results.

By choosing a partner that not only understands the importance of this but are in a position to provide technical know-how with the ability to locally produce products that meet these requirements, you can give your business the competitive edge with increased production output.

“We understand that using a grinding wheel is one of the most versatile and cost-effective methods to remove material from machined parts. A cutting action of hard and sharp abrasive grain particles from a rotating grinding wheel achieves this when the grinding wheel forces abrasive grains into the surface of the workpiece,” says a spokesperson for Grinding Techniques.

“An abrasive grinding wheel is a replaceable consumable that carries an abrasive compound on its periphery. They are manufactured of small, sharp and very hard natural or synthetic abrasive minerals, bonded together in a matrix to form the wheel. The grinding of precision components is only made possible by choosing the correct grinding wheel specification which is crucial for the achievement of high precision stock removal and or surface finish to very high tolerances. Due to the great number of variables involved, the grinding process is one of the most complex tooling processes.”

“With the advent of more exotic materials being ground, ranging from hard to grind metal sprays to tougher and harder tool steels, choosing the correct grinding wheel specification is becoming increasingly difficult.”

“Grinding Techniques make use of the latest technology in the ANDOR and TYROLIT range by using various high-quality minerals and proven bonding systems. This ensures a faster stock removal rate due to the self-sharpening effect of the grain and the properties of the bonding system that keep the grain in place for optimum performance. This combination is perfect to produce parts were tight tolerance and adequate surface finish is a prerequisite.”

“As a trusted precision partner, being the largest local manufacturer of precision grinding wheels in Sub-Saharan Africa, we at Grinding Techniques are able to engineer specific products for individual requirements with very competitive manufacturing lead times. Our comprehensive after sales service with technical expertise from our business development team and sales force ensure that we are with you every step of the way and ready to assist with any enquiries around the most optimum grinding process.”

For more information, please contact: 011 271 6400 | info@grindtech.com | www.grindtech.com.

Making the correct tool choice

In the modern age of industrial innovation, it has become more important than ever to analyse the performance of every tool at your disposal. The margin between success and failure, profit or loss may be determined by the small differences in production times and costs we often take for granted. More often than not we do things the same way we have always done them, even though the parameters and environment we operate in have changed.


Why spend four hours battling to get a job ground and ready for shipping when one hour will do? Why employ three fettlers, occupy additional machines, PPE, electricity and other associated costs when the right tool could assist one fettler to be up to three or even four times more efficient? Why wait another day to invoice a job that could have been delivered today?

Today a wider range of alloys are being cast than ever before. Some alloys are lighter, and or harder, more abrasion-and-impact resistant, while others tend to react better to sub-zero temperatures or prove more heat sensitive than ever before. These alloys have been developed because the world we live in demands it. Seldom do we stop and put some thought into the machining, grinding and finishing of the said alloys until that moment of truth arrives. Panic stations! Luckily, our abrasive technology has developed at equally rapid rates. Manufacturing methods, bonding systems and mineral types have been evolving to keep up with the demands created by new modern innovative alloy introductions. At Grinding Techniques – a Tyrolit company, we are at the cutting edge of development and able to provide a solution for your abrasive requirements.

When one looks at the new range of ‘super alloys’ being developed, it has become increasingly evident that machining of these materials will be and is already a serious challenge. Grinding has proven to be one of, if not the preferred method, of shaping these alloys. Abrasive manufacturers all over the world are gearing towards the grinding, shaping and machining of these alloys with a far greater success rate over that of the machine tool bit manufacturers. New innovative products being developed have brought grinding and machining times of certain components down from 4 to 6 hours per part, to less than 24 minutes per part.

The Superflex Ceramic range of grinding tools are developed for rapid and accurate cool grinding on specialised alloy castings in excess of 700HBR. The results achieved when compared to conventional abrasive tools were almost incomparable. Grinding times on these hard materials were reduced by more than 66%, and as a result of the shortened grinding times we were able to lessen the heat being generated through friction by significant proportions with a noticeable cost saving as a result. Scrap rates as a direct result of heat cracks are now something of the past.

The ceramic range as good as it is for chrome and abrasion resistant materials does not provide the same performance level on cast iron, SG iron, manganese and steel foundries. Due to the fact that the grinding mineral offers a sharper, more aggressive grind on contact, but the bonding system employed breaks down in a different manner to that of conventional grinding wheels developed for softer materials. Selecting the incorrect tool – reduces the efficiency of the grinding tool on application and increases the cost to a point where it is just not viable to use.

So where does one begin when choosing the most appropriate tool for the job at hand? It starts by challenging yourself to achieve a more desirable result and produce a better end product, at a satisfactory cost level for the specific application.

You need to ask yourself what would you like to achieve? Faster grinding times with less of a bottleneck in your fettling bay? Lower grinding cost per component? Reduction in machine cost, or replacement cost? Better aesthetic finishing? All of them or at least a combination of the above are possible by selecting the correct abrasive type.

Grinding Techniques, a Tyrolit company, offers a comprehensive range of abrasives geared towards achieving your required optimum result. With more than 100 years of manufacturing experience behind us, we more than willing to conduct trials, assist with application optimisation, and work along-side you to tailor make a solution that attains your required results. Our comprehensive product offering uniquely qualifies us to assist in optimising your foundry requirements and making the correct tool choice.

Keeping the wheels of the transport industry rolling

Since the dawn of commerce and industry in the times when people were bartering for goods and services, it was just as important to produce the product as it was to be able to transport the product to the target market.


Today the need for transport is far greater than before. The number of goods traded are infinite, and the competition to get your goods delivered at a competitive rate is a reality of business today. Goods are being transported all over the world, by ship, rail, road and air. Not only is the cost of delivering the goods important, but the delivery timeframe is just as important. Today, the best product in the world means nothing if it arrives at a cost that nullifies the performance of the product or if it arrives late.

South Africa relies heavily on the transport of goods from our coastal ports to our inland cities, and the supply and distribution of mined mineral to the point of either distribution abroad or beneficiation. Our infrastructure is the most advanced in Africa, and still growing by the day. Imports and exports are a critical function in most businesses today.

The logistics industry is one of, if not the fastest evolving sectors in Africa. For this reason, companies who manufacture the supporting equipment have become more competitive. Every tool is analysed for efficiency and cost-effective performance. Comparisons are being run between old and new technology.

To be part of every aspect of the transport value chain is a unique privilege. From the construct of new containers, building of overhead cranes in the container handling terminal, the airport handling equipment, the trailer that transports the goods from a to z, be it by truck or train, to the manufacture of the train rails, we offer products that provide solutions to almost every application.

Aluminium fabrication has become a bigger part of our day to day lives and even more so in the transport industry. Lighter, stronger designs are being put to good use. Aluminium has for long been a difficult fabrication material due to its low weldability and susceptibility for contamination. Grinding Techniques has developed specialised products for the effective fabrication of this material. The Superflex range of non-ferrous cutting and grinding discs, is complemented by the new non-ferrous premium flap disc range. Any professional fabricator knows that the tools
you choose not only makes your primary job successful, but the secondary applications to follow as well. If a regular steel or stainless-steel product were to be used to prepare a piece of aluminium for a weld, the oxidation that takes place on the surface during the preparation would require a secondary process of decontamination using acetone or other chemicals before a successful aesthetically pleasing weld would be possible. By using the correct abrasive tool, a perfect weld can be achieved directly after the cut or grind saving many man hours and making the job at hand much more cost effective.

We offer optimisation service without equal. The professional and scientific manner in which the performance of products can be compared is unrivalled in the industry, and the results speak for themselves. In an industry where “time is money”, this approach could be the differentiating factor between profit and loss.

We keep the Paper and Pulp Industry Rolling

The grinding of rolls for the paper mill industry is known to be one of the most difficult grinding operations. These rolls are normally very long relative to outside diameter, hard in composition and have very tight tolerances and surface finish requirements to be met.


In most cases the grinding of paper mill rolls is a very time-consuming operation when it comes to both the roughing and finishing cycle of the process. Excellent operator skill and special attention to the grinding machine and its surroundings are also crucial factors when it comes to delivering a good and consistent result. Some of the common challenges faced in the grinding process might include, roll deflection and sag, vibration, wheel glazing, chatter marks, traverse marks and stainless-steel loading. The finishing process is commonly the most difficult and time consuming as some rolls might take much longer than others to grind.

Choosing the correct grinding wheel for the roughing and finishing cycles of the grinding process is of utmost importance. Using a too hard or too soft wheel or even a wheel with the incorrect mineral and bond combination could lead to the loss of a lot of time during the grinding process. Grinding Techniques – a Tyrolit Company – is able to provide the Paper and Pulp Industry with local research and development capability as well as both locally manufactured Andor wheels, and imported Tyrolit wheels. Both the Andor and Tyrolit grinding wheels are specifically formulated and manufactured with the characteristics for successful roughing and finishing cycles in the grinding process.

Grinding wheels consist of abrasive grains held together by a resin bond. The abrasive normally used is black or green silicon carbide, which is a hard and sharp mineral and suited for most rolls used in the paper mill industry. In the grinding process the grains’ sharp edges cut away the material and become dull (loses its sharpness) under the heat and pressure of the grinding process. The bond releases the dull grain from the wheel at the perfect time, exposing a new sharp edge of the grain, ensuring that these sharp edges are exposed for the full duration of the
grinding wheel’s life cycle. Using the correct grinding wheel will ensure that more material is removed per pass with minimal tendency of glazing and the least amount of dressing required.

Using two different wheels for the roughing and the finishing cycles when grinding paper mill rolls, have proven the most successful in the shortest time. For example, a grinding wheel used in the roughing cycle will generally be much too hard to be able to adhere to the required finish in the finishing process.

The objective of the roughing wheel is to remove stock (material off the roll). Grinding Techniques takes the following aspects into consideration when specifying a rough grinding wheel suited for the Paper mill Industry. The wheel needs to remove high volumes of material per pass whilst not having a tendency to burn the roll. The ideal wheel should also possess a free cutting action with minimum heat generated with the least dressing cycles required. A very consistent and uniform surface finish is also a top priority.

The finishing cycle of the grinding process has different characteristics compared to the roughing cycle. Considering the lower pressures and different speed and feed rates of the finishing cycle, the wheel matrix has to be adjusted accordingly. Lower grinding pressures could cause a wheel’s grains to dull and burn to the workpiece and chatter is often the result. The finishing cycle on roll grinding would require a finer grit wheel with a softer bonding system to release the dulled grains at lower pressures.

Contact Grinding Techniques, the largest local producer of resin and vitrified abrasive products for a tailored solution to all your grinding processes of various paper mill rolls.

For more information, please contact: 011 271 6400 | info@grindtech.com | www.grindtech.com.

Moving the automotive industry forward

Global earth warming plays a major role on climate change, in some parts of the world wreaking havoc with uncontrollable veld fires, severe flooding and drought. The major contributing factor being high levels of carbon dioxide that is released in the atmosphere by gas emissions from internal combustion engines. A renewed focus on climate change and stricter policies are changing the way in how motor vehicles will be produced in future. Manufacturers are downsizing engine size, but increasing engine capacity by adding turbochargers – placing huge emphasis on the quality and surface finish requirements of engine components. The reduction in weight of alloys and material chosen poses a great challenge in the machining of these components.


Grinding Techniques – a Tyrolit company, has the experience and expertise locally in providing cost effective grinding solutions to cater for the OEM automotive component and automotive reconditioning market, especially the grinding of crankshafts. Our local R & D facility enables us to provide the best possible product specification whilst obtaining low machining costs per unit.

When considering the overall grinding process, Business Development specialists are able to offer support on all technical issues taking into account the preferred grinding solution, machine, grinding wheel and dressing tool. One of the major challenges experienced in Crankshaft grinding is wheels being “out of balance” and this is particularly due to lack of training on the correct safety checks, mounting and balancing procedures, as well as crankshaft wheels having bigger outside diameters and smaller widths, which accentuates any “out of balance” conditions. With proper training of operators this problem could be eliminated. Grinding Techniques is able to provide the necessary training.

With our local range of ANDOR grinding wheels, we are able to produce wheels of up to 1015mm in diameter.

The change to lightweight alloys and higher surface finish requirements on engine components has established a dynamic shift on the production of grinding wheels in both conventional and super abrasives. By using the latest technology in high quality Aluminum Oxide, CBN grain and bonding systems challenges experienced with issues relating to parts being ground out of round, and to non-sufficient tolerances, are minimised and further employed to the automotive reconditioning market, earthmoving equipment and armor-plated vehicles.

Specific to the automotive reconditioning market, we have products available to suit crank-and-camshaft grinding, polishing, valve seat and stem end grinding as well as the brake and clutch industry to name but a few. We also employ the latest CNC machining which enables us to produce wheels for the gear industry with a range of modules, pressure angles and starts required for continuous generating and profile gear grinding. With the addition of Sintered Aluminum Oxide in various products, we are able to cut down on the overall production cost per unit, whilst
still attaining a cool cut and good form holding on the grinding wheel.

Partnering with Grinding Techniques offering tailor-made products with competitive lead times and custom grinding solutions will go a long way in moving the automotive industry forward.

For more information, please contact: 011 271 6400 | info@grindtech.com | www.grindtech.com.

Playing an essential part in the Mining Industry

The mining sector plays a prominent role in the South African economy. With the increased demand for raw materials such as Manganese, Chrome, Nickel, Platinum and Coal from various consumers in a global economy, the need to mine cheaper, faster and more productive has never been more prevalent.


Underground mining relies heavily on the ability to remove ground water from areas where shafts could potentially flood. Pump manufacturers are using harder alloy pump components that increase life span and reduces pump replacement cycles and down times. Better slurry pump designs and better metallurgical developments have all lead to significant reductions in operating costs.

Crusher Mills and pulverising mills are re-lined with harder, tougher liners to ensure better productivity and less down time. If one takes into account that it takes almost a full day to re-line a mill, and the average mill crushes several thousand tons of material per day, one can quickly deduce that a mining operation potentially loses millions of Rands in lost production for every re-line that needs to be done.

Fabricating the dragline buckets used in opencast mining presents various challenges. First the large metal plates made from specialised materials such as Hardox, or other wear and impact resistant alloy steels, weighing several tons needs to be unloaded. Then the plates are cut to shape and size using flame cutters or profile cutters. These parts now need to be bent, and before all of these pieces are welded together, the surfaces need to be prepared. This prep involves grinding the weld angles onto the plate and preparing the landing. Once the first root weld has been made, the procedure may call for a back-grind with a series of filler welds to follow as soon as this has been completed. These are constantly tested and checked for defects. If defects are found, a portion of the weld needs to be gouged out or ground out. The process continues until the weld is finally capped off.

The big earthmoving equipment trucks that work in conjunction with these drag-liners in moving the earth from point of mining to point of processing, have buckets manufactured in a similar fashion. The same can be mentioned about the side tipper hopper wagons manufactured for the rail industry and the side tippers manufactured for the road transporting sections. All of these components undergo a rigorous fabrication process.

Whether we are looking at the process of dragline open cast mining, sinking shafts for taking minerals from the earth, transporting raw material to the processing plants and smelters, or beneficiation processes – fabrication is in some form or another involved.

Grinding Techniques developed several Superflex products suited to these specific applications over the years.

  • The 230×7, 2×22, 2 AS30T Heavy Duty disc is unrivalled in stock removal and service life and perfect for grinding Hardox and alloy steels, as well as several other abrasion and impact resistant metals.
  • Whilst the 230×5, 2×22, 2 AS30T Back-Grinder and the 230×4,1×22,2 AS30T Pipe-Liner are ideally suited to the back-grinding operation where one merely wants to open the weld up without grinding away more filler material than is necessary.

Superflex also caters for the harder “super-alloy” materials now used in some of the pump casings and mill liners.

  • The 230×7, 2×22, 2 CA24Q Premium Ceramic and 230×7,2×22,2 ZA24R Premium Zircon wheels offer excellent stock removal and service life while ensuring a reduction in surface heat temperature when grinding sensitive materials.
  • For the thicker more demanding plates, we offer specially configured cup stones that produce high stock removal and longevity. Various specifications are available in 150/120x50xM14 or 5/8 and 125/100x50xM14 or 5/8, all ideal for big contact areas where a lot of material needs to be removed.

In assisting the Fabricator to finish their product more aesthetically, Grinding Techniques offers a full range of Tungsten Carbide Burrs, Flap Discs, Fibre Discs and Velcro Discs that provide for smoother surfaces prior to painting, and to repair paint and body blemishes along the way.

Apart from the above, we also have a range of diamond wheels and cutting discs for masonry and steel suited to the
various applications when producing wire and wire rope.

For more information on solutions and products customised for the Mining Industry, please contact: 011 271 6400 | info@grindtech.com | www.grindtech.com.

We help keeping the lights on

We have all heard of the trials and tribulations our National Electricity Provider face when it comes to conducting day to day maintenance. Often, planned and unplanned maintenance outages are scheduled to support the country ensuring electricity availability as far as possible. Not many of us know the kind of work required behind the scenes to keep the lights on. At Grinding Techniques, we are fortunate to be a partner to the electricity industry. Very involved in their work, we can share a little insight into the cutting and grinding processes they go through when dealing with a maintenance outage.


One of the most common unplanned outages is referred to as a tube-leak. When a tube has an imperfection, or has worn so thin that pressure generated by the steam within causes a blow-out or explosion within the boiler, serious loss in efficiency is caused.

Working on boilers and steam systems come with its own challenges. When having to work at a height of 50m above the ground in a space no bigger than a bathroom cupboard with the task of cutting a piece of pipe 6m in length with a 9-inch angle grinder and virtually nothing supporting the pipe on either end, one can only imagine the complexity of such a task.

The vibrating piece of pipe from lack of clamping coupled with such a small working area providing only limited air circulation and low artificial lighting with the constraints of your protective gear providing but a lifeline at 50m above ground, poses the unplanned and unthinkable when having to race against a deadline of three to five days and dealing with failure of equipment that needs replacement.

Unsupported workpieces being cut in constrained space, at almost impossible angles, with arguably one of the most dangerous power-tools available to man, is a recipe for disaster if the artisan is not trained properly. We often criticize, but rarely understand the level of commitment, skill and patience these artisans possess. Much credit needs to go to these training schools where trainers spend hundreds of hours preparing artisans for the job at hand. They build simulators and conduct numerous tests, spend hours on theory and practical examinations. No effort is spared in the quest to prepare them for the challenges they are certain to face on the line.

These dedicated pipe fitters, welders and boilermakers are unsung heroes in a world forgotten in the electronic era.

It has been a privilege for Grinding Techniques to develop custom products for these hard-working people during the past decades. Our products provide easier, smoother cuts that are safer than ever before providing increased cuts per wheel to save thousands of Rands and man hours in the job at hand. As a result, less down time in tool changes amounts to a tremendous increase in productivity. A smoother cut in an environment where the job cannot be supported makes the operation safer, as there is a smaller likelihood of the wheel being gripped by the job ending in wheel failure – this and other big bore applications brought forth the development of the renowned Superflex 230×2, 5×22, 2 XR cutting disc.

A further development was the Superflex IPDS product range that successfully removes build-up in seconds. Once the pipe has been cut, mineral build-up on the inside of the tube needs to be removed. Our IPDS product removes this build up in seconds rather than minutes -adding to increased productivity on the line. Having proven themselves on this application, our IPDS points are available in more than one shape and size, to facilitate the different pipe sizes.

Grinding Techniques also introduced new innovative technology in cutting big-bore pipes with the latest abrasive product designs. Resulting in not only reducing cutting time significantly but also minimising the preparation time required prior to welding by several hours – all due to a reduction in change of the molecular structure of the material as we limit heat input during the cutting process.

The first “free-hand” 350mm cut off wheel was designed with these applications in mind. The Superflex 350x4x25, 4 ZA24P wheels work with an incredible rate of cut, and come with a very high safety rating. The machines used with this wheel have been available in other parts of the world for quite some time, but we have only been introduced to them fairly recently in South Africa. We believe that introduction of these machine will be seen more and more in the near future.

By introducing all of these innovations we as Grinding Techniques believe our contributions to a better productivity environment assist in the reduction of operator fatigue and improve concentration levels. Which in turn will assist all the key players in the electricity industry to keep the lights on.

For more information, please contact: 011 271 6400 | info@grindtech.com | www.grindtech.com.