Making Chips Count

Who would have thought that an abrasive grinding wheel can be used in the production of chips? This is particularly pertaining to chips made from corn. The history behind milling corn to maize goes back many centuries, where ordinary stones where used. One being stationary and the other stone on top being rotated by hand to grind or mill the corn into maize. As demand for maize products grew more and more, millhouses became very popular and the milling stones utilized grew in size, the principal stayed the same by having one stationary stone (bed stone) and the other one rotated (runner stone) driven by livestock, windmills or electrical motors.


Producing chips from corn uses the same principle to grind or mill the corn to a finer powder. The famous tortilla style chips start with cooking the corn kernels in water with the addition of limestone to soften the husk from the corn. The cooked corn is then fed into a perforated rotating spinning drum to loosen the husk which is then washed away by using high water pressure, exposing the softer inside. Ready to be fed to the milling process, a screw is used, where it will be fed in between grinding stones to be milled. The millstones are used in pairs one being stationary called the “bed stone” and the other rotates called the “runner stone”, the rotating stone does the actual grinding or milling of the corn. These stones have a special design to it, and is made from fused aluminum oxide with grit sizes ranging from 46 – 120 depending on the required texture, in a vitrified bond. The special design relates to the concave inner part, which has deep grooves called the furrow coming up onto flat areas called lands, out to the outer edges where the actual grinding will take place with smaller grooves called feathering or cracking. The two stones are set to a specific thickness depending on the consistency required. As the corn is fed through the bed stone the inner grooves feed the corn to the outer side of the wheel with the smaller grooves, and as the runner wheel spins, the corn is then ground into Corn Massa (Spanish for dough). Now it is ready to go further down the production line to form the end product.

These types of stones are also used to grind, chocolate, coffee, cork, mustard, paint, snuff and sugar cane etc.

Grinding Techniques, a Tyrolit company and proudly South African manufacturer is a key supplier of ANDOR grinding wheels to the milling industry. We offer local manufactured products as well as imported Tyrolit wheels. Size, specification and configurations can be customized according to customer specific requirements.

Dedicated support personnel are ready and available to provide you with all the support and advise required to make your chips count!

For more information contact us: 011 271 6400 | |