Precision Grinding with ANDOR – Innovative solutions for YOUR application

Back in the day, some of the first materials to be grinded were metal substances and wood. To grind these particular materials, quartz in combination with sand and flint were used. This was the first type of abrasives utilised. As time progressed, a lot of engineering and grain development was done to produce abrasives to satisfy industry demands.

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In 1891 Edward Acheson invented Silicon Carbide, a hard grain in composition, with very good properties to cut or grind materials with low tensile strength such as Tungsten Carbide, Glass and Cast Iron. Only after Silicon Carbide was invented, fused Aluminum Oxide came to the forefront, revolutionizing the industry. Cutting or grinding materials with high tensile strength such as high-alloy steels was now possible and remained the key minerals used in the production of abrasives up until the twentieth century.

As technology evolved around specific materials used by the consumer, different types of fused Aluminum Oxide were produced with White Aluminum Oxide being the purest and most friable of the normal fused Aluminum Oxides. Initially these grains were developed to create sharper cutting edges during cutting-and-grinding applications. In the early 1970’s a new development of synthetics brought about Alumina-Zirconia, a more friable and harder grain that brought the overall grinding performance to a new level when used in bonded wheels, especially on materials with high Chrome content.

In the early 1980’s a new grain “Sol Gel” ceramic was developed. This improved the industry further by performing even better compared to normal fused Aluminum Oxide, and mostly due to the significant self-sharpening properties of the grain, being even more durable.

With time, it was realized that combining a certain percentage of Ceramic grain with fused Aluminum Oxide in the manufacturing of abrasives resulted in grinding wheels with extremely high material removal rates and increased tool life. Due to the self-sharpening properties of Ceramic grain both exceptional stock removal rates and cooler grinds are achieved, making it perfectly suited to materials that are hard to grind.

In the pursuit of developing material technology in order to produce materials with better mechanical properties, such as parts manufactured from wear-resistant materials, requires precision abrasive products that produces closer tolerances with extended product life.

As these wear-resistant parts are generally harder to grind, it is essential to minimise heat input, as exposure to heat will harden these parts even more, potentially causing it to crack.
Although a cooler grind is required, industry also requires to grind these particular parts at a faster rate to reduce overall production costs such as labour, electricity and machine operating costs.

Development in the abrasive industry is continually ongoing, not just on the manufacturing side with a lot more variations in grain combinations to create the ideal grinding wheel for with the “defined cutting edge”, but also with significant development by machine producers to save on production times.

With our Research and Development Team, we are able to locally produce Andor bonded precision grinding wheels with the latest technology in Sintered Aluminum Oxide and Ceramic grain, to support the ever-changing market conditions.

Partnering with Grinding Techniques, will put your business at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, cutting down on unnecessary production time, load on machine and making your company more competitive in the Global market.

Contact our Precision Business Development team today for more information on how we can assist in proving a solution for your application.

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

Grinding Techniques – Putting YOUR Safety First

At Grinding Techniques, the safety of our customers is our priority. As a preferred partner to the Construction and Mining industry we are determined to ensure only the best suitable products, manufactured to the highest safety standards, available at the best value for money price-point. Being a Company of the TYROLIT Group, and internationally OSA-and-ISO accredited, we meet all the EN standards, giving our customers peace of mind that we always put safety first.

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Tyrolit is a leading European brand of products with a manufacturing facility in Africa for Africa.

Certified abrasive products carry a safety rating that can only be applied after fulfilling a series of strict measures as set out by the Organization for the Safety of Abrasives. The OSA Trademark not only ensures safety during cutting-and-grinding operations but also indicates that products are tested to the highest safety standards giving peace of mind to all users of the products and each product carrying this symbol, can be traced back to its manufacturer.

Specialising in abrasives since 1981 our solution-driven strategy allows you to choose the right tool for the job whilst maximising both your production output and long-term profits.
With our range of cutting and grinding solutions it is an easy decision to obtain the right tool for the job, with all our products boasting longevity, durability and dependability.
When you need a cost-effective cutting-tool for everyday operations, look no further than the 2-in-1 slimline range from Tyrolit.

The Standard two star 2-in-1 disc is perfectly designed for optimum cutting performances on both stainless steel and mild steel. This slimline disc is suitable for use on stainless steel without the risk of contaminating the material. Not only does it offer a cost-efficient solution for your everyday work, but also the safety standards customers have come to expect from Tyrolit products. It puts the power and stability in your hands, designed to cut metal sheets, profiles, pipes, rods and solid bars and rods. The product comes at a great value for money price-point and based on application can save a company on labour and consumable cost.

Tyrolit Standard two star 2-in-1 flap discs offer consistent stock removal throughout its lifetime and is the perfect tool for effortless machining of welding seams as well as edge grinding and surface grinding. Made from a natural fibre core free from fibre glass, this disc is also environmentally friendly. Specifically manufactured for use on both steel-and-stainless steel, it will not contaminate, discolour or burn the workpiece. If your application requires a finishing application with a lower grinding angle, the Type 28A will be the best choice, whereas the Type 27A is best suited to a more aggressive stock removal grinding application.

At Grinding Techniques, we are able to customise solutions for all abrasive cutting-and- grinding operations, whatever your application. Apart from this, our Research & Development Team continually test and evaluate all products to ensure they achieve optimum results safely during application, whilst increasing your productivity and profits.

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

Grinding Techniques – Cost effective partner to the Foundry Industry

In most foundries, grinding wheel costs can vary immensely per ton of castings poured.

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This figure may vary from one foundry to another depending on the metal or alloy, size of casting, number and size of gates and risers, and on the type of equipment used—swing frame, floor stand or portable. Part of the cost involves wheels that may be used to notch or cut off gates and risers, but this article will concentrate on the wheels used for the snagging operation.

The grinding wheel can affect wheel costs as well as production rates. One major contributing factor to high grinding costs may be the use of the lowest priced grinding wheel obtainable. While this buying policy does offer the lowest wheel cost, it can ultimately be more expensive in both yearly purchases and labour costs. Furthermore, the cheapest wheel may also reflect inconsistent quality, which could result in a variation of grinding wheel performance from wheel to wheel and from order to order.

In order to extend longevity of the wheel with the main objective of a lower wheel cost, a wheel that is actually too hard for the application at hand is often used. The loss in the material removal rate and operator efficiency therefore offsets the costs of the wheel savings, as many tests have proved conclusively.

Using a too soft wheel, on the other hand, while contributing to a happier operator, will most certainly increase the total wheel consumption. Management may now ask how all these factors should be evaluated.

Some foundries measure grinding wheel efficiency in terms of the amount of metal removed versus the amount of grinding wheel used. Others may measure the grinding wheel cost per kg of metal removed. Both these methods may result in a two-dimensional view where a three-dimensional view with grinding time added will in most instances supply a better result.

In some instances, foundries do not realize how important wheel selection can be, relying only on operator opinion for the best wheel to use, without measuring wheel consumption or metal removed. Although this may seem like a simple solution, it is not likely to result in determining the efficient grinding wheel, or the lowest grinding cost. Operators most likely will tend to prefer a soft fast cutting wheel.

The above-mentioned approaches will most likely provide a very high ratio of metal removed to wheel wear resulting in a low production rate, or high productivity but with a relatively high wheel consumption. The ultimate aim is to strike a happy medium between rate of metal removed and wheel consumption.

The missing third dimension in these approaches to wheel efficiency and grinding costs is the time element. Labour and overhead costs in most cases contribute more than the wheel cost in determining the total grinding cost. The only accurate way to determine a fettling operation cost is to determine the weight of metal removed, weight of wheel used, and the total contact grinding time of the test. Contact time rather than total elapsed time is important as it is not subject to operator effort. Accurate measurement of the contact grinding time per casting or per test run is of utmost importance.

With contact grinding time readily available, accurate means of determining the weight of metal removed while grinding must also be obtained. The castings selected for test, after chipping and sorting of scrap, should be weighed before and after grinding. Larger castings should be weighed individually and small castings can be weighed by skid load. To ensure accurate grinding wheel cost information, the wheel should be weighed at full and then at stub diameter. The difference represents the weight of usable abrasive consumed during the test.

The castings selected for the test should all be of the same metal or alloy, and approximately the same size and shape. In reality, these last two conditions are not always possible. It is then that the value of determining contact time becomes even more relevant. It helps to balance out the effect of just such variables in the work pieces. Furthermore, when a wheel is used by more than one operator, using contact time in calculating the wheel efficiency and costs helps to eliminate variables in operator technique and operator opinion of a wheel.

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

Preparing Ferrous Metals for Painting

Painting is the process of coating a material with a protective layer in order to reduce oxidation and extend the material’s usable life and or applying a coating for decorative purposes.

When you are painting IBR sheeting, palisade fencing or anything else in and around your home, it is of utmost importance to follow the correct steps and techniques to ensure the quality and longevity of your coating.

Ferrous metals either contain, or are derived from iron. Examples of ferrous metals would be fabricated sheet steel and wrought iron – all prone to rust. Rusting can start very rapidly when unprotected ferrous metals are exposed to elements of nature. It is of utmost importance to stop and remove any rusting that has begun to guarantee that there is no compromise to the appearance and longevity of the paint job and the material itself.

Surface preparation is considered one of the most important factors when it comes to the coating quality of your end product and vital to the success of any paint job. Removing any visible rust and peeling paint would be the very first step when preparing any ferrous metal surface for painting either by wiping the surface with a cloth or brushing with a soft bristle brush. In some cases, with a more abrasive material would be necessary whereafter the surface can be scrubbed with a water-based degreaser and then rinsed off with clean water. Depending on the size of the job on hand and the severity of the imperfections on your surface this can be achieved by the use of various abrasive products. Hand or power tools might be used dependent on what you have in your toolbox.

Great results can be achieved by hand sanding with wet or dry abrasive sheets, starting with a coarser grit size for aggressive stock removal of imperfections working towards finer grit increments until the desired surface finish is achieved. When it comes to working with a power tool, wire brushes, abrasive sanding discs and non-woven rough cleaning products are all ideal for this application.

Always remember to wear the correct personal protective equipment which should include eye protection and a good quality dust mask. New ferrous metal surfaces where imperfections might not be visible to the naked eye should also be prepared adequately to avoid a premature failure of your paint job. New metal often has mill scale or oil on it or small amounts of rust not yet visible. The timing of your preparation and applying your primer and topcoat is of utmost importance. If the prepared surface is exposed for as little as a day or two the surface will have to be prepared again. Always be sure to apply a quality rust-inhibitive primer before applying your final coat.

Galvanized metal is iron or steel with a thin coating of zinc to prevent rusting. Galvanized metal is commonly used for gutters, downpipes and flashing. If the galvanized surface is new or weathered it should be washed and rinsed thoroughly before painting. This process cleans off any zinc chromate or residual oil that could have been left on the surface from the galvanizing process which otherwise can interfere with the adhesion of the paint.

On previously painted galvanized surfaces all rust and peeling paint should be removed with a wire brush, abrasive disc or non-woven abrasive product. Always try and avoid cutting through the layer of zinc galvanizing during this process. Always be sure to apply a quality rust-inhibitive primer before applying your final coat.

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

Preferred Partner to the Essential Pipeline Industry

With an estimated 3800 kilometres of petroleum pipeline in South Africa it is safe to say that that the Pipeline Industry is an essential part of the country’s economy.

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Numerous manufacturing concerns are involved in this industry, supplying both up and down stream products and services to Government and Private entities in the Petro-chemical and Power-generation markets.

Maintenance of all pipelines are of utmost importance as any breakdown may cause massive disruptions to various sectors including but not limited to Aviation, Industrial, Hospitality and Medical sectors, not to mention the massive impact that it will have on the already fragile business environment.

Repairs and refurbishing of these pipelines and components are an ongoing process and require specialist products to ensure the job is done correctly, thereby shortening the repair time and ensuring better longevity of the pipelines.

A critical area on a pipeline is the joint. When two parts are joined together, it is essential to create a solid joint. In most cases joints are welded together and it is essential that the weld area is without flaws, cracks or defects. In preparation for the welding process a piece of material is bevelled in order to provide better access to the root or inside edge of the material, this bevel area should be finished off with a product that will effectively prepare the surface for welding, while not contaminating it. Some welding procedures will require finishing the bevel with a 120-grit flap disc to best prepare the surface – Grinding Techniques Superflex Flap Discs are perfectly suited to this application and is available in both a flat type 27 and angled type 29 configuration. Once this is done, the welding procedure can commence.

A root run is laid down in the root channel, which will need to be back ground to remove any potential defects like porosity and or poor fusion of the materials. Back grinding is therefore the process of removing the outer part of the weld to ensure that any impurities that floats to the top of the weld is removed before a final weld or cap is added on to “seal” the weld-joint.
Grinding Techniques manufactures various products specifically for this purpose, depending on the thickness of the material and size of the root channel a Superflex 230×4.1×22.23mm AS30T disc is ideal for root channels of approximately 3mm, and a Superflex 230×5.2×22.23mm AS30T disc will suit the requirement for channels wider than 3mm. In the past, most operators would use a 230mm cutting disc for this purpose – the disc would be placed in the section and then twisted to clean and grind the weld out. This is a very dangerous practice and this should be avoided at all cost as cutting discs are not designed to handle this type of side load pressures that they will be placed under. The Superflex back grinding products’ construction allows for much safer work to be carried out.

After completing the welds, the pipe or section will be x-ray inspected for flaws or defects. If the above process is followed correctly, the weld can be passed. If a defect is identified on x-ray, a thinner disc may be required to cut or grind out the material in order to lay down another weld. One such disc is the range of Dual Purpose Cutting and Grinding discs from Grinding Techniques – available in 115×2.2×22.23mm, 125×2.2×22.23mm and 150×3.0x22.23mm, these discs are ideally suited to both cutting and grinding applications. The emphasis here being on the fact that these discs are constructed to be safe when cutting and grinding with the same product. Conventional cutting discs can and probably will break if used in this manner.

The final area that needs to be checked on the joint will be the area between the top of the bevel and the filler cap of the weld. If the weld forms a sharp corner, this may be rejected as it might cause a failure in the weld. The Superflex 115×2.2×22.23 A36S CG (Cut and Grind) is ideal for blending of these areas to ensure a smoother finish and a pass on the inspection.

Conventional thickness grinding discs tend to remove too much material, making the thinner disc ideal for the finer work required. The thinner disc also produces less heat, which is essential for heat sensitive materials that may crack.

One often over looked area of any abrasives is the safety factor. When the incorrect product is used for any application, the potential for disaster is enormous. Grinding Techniques designs, manufactures and tests all products to international standards to ensure that the operator is kept safe, when products are utilised for their intended purpose. The capability also exists for products to be designed for a specific application where no such product currently exists. The products mentioned above all have that focus in mind – create a product that will get the job done quickly, effectively and with the maximum amount of safety possible.

INNOVATIVE partner to the Foundry Industry

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.

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With the global Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacting the current economic climate we find ourselves in, many rely on price as a deciding factor when abrasives are considered and, in many cases, settle for entry level abrasives. This often results in a costly and time-consuming operation, as more abrasive products are required to complete the job due to the lower stock removal from the product, which in turn, leads to operator fatigue. It is therefore of utmost importance to consider the type of casting, machinery and abrasive products used in combination when fettling castings.

With the correct combination of abrasive grains, there are numerous advantages. Instead of spending hours to a full day fettling a single casting, time can be cut down to just a few minutes leading to other benefits like saving on electricity, machine wear and tear as well as reduced operator fatigue.

When fettling a casting made out of Hard Chrome with an approximate riser of 50mm, if using an under-powered angle grinder, this could cause a significant increase in fettling time, resulting in the efficiency of the grinding disc being severely reduced. The slower the speed at which the grinding disc rotates, the softer it acts, taking much longer to chip away the material with every revolution due to the disc not attaining the grain in place for optimal performance.

To attain better results, there are a few options available:

Firstly, using an angle grinder of at least 2.6kW will help the disc not to lose peripheral speed when in operation, thus increasing the performance of the disc. Secondly switching to a higher product tier, like either the Superflex 230x7x22.2 ZA24R Premium containing Zirconium abrasive grains, or the Superflex 230x7x22.2 CA24Q-BF Premium Ceramic grinding disc containing added seeded gel. This alone, could significantly increase results.

In general, using abrasive products containing Zirconium grains rather than Aluminum Oxide grains usually prove much more efficient, as the Zirconium grains break down during application, exposing sharper cutting edges – perfectly suited to difficult alloys. In cases where optimum results are required, making use of the Ceramic grinding disc containing seeded gel would prove to be the ideal choice. Not only does the Ceramic disc offer a much tougher structured grain, but will, when put under pressure, break down in much smaller fragments exposing sharper cutting edges, which significantly increases the cutting rate and minimizes heat input into the work piece.

Cup stones are another possible solution for fettling requirements, as they have either a M14.2 or a 5/8 BSW thread, which saves time compared to changing grinding discs, as the cup is simply screwed onto either an angle grinder or a pneumatic grinder. Due to the design of the cup stone being flared (Type 11), grinding Hi-Chrome materials and specifically crusher balls are made easier to work around the shape of the ball’s circumference, preventing unnecessary deep grind marks compared to that of grinding discs when grounding away the risers.

Grinding Techniques have been manufacturing abrasives since 1981, with a Research and Development Team constantly testing, reviewing and introducing new products ranging from Aluminum Oxide, Silicon Carbide, Zirconium and Ceramic / Seeded gel grains. With our years of industry experience and partner to the Foundry Industry we are leaders in helping you choose the best solution for your application.

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

ANDOR – The PREFERRED PARTNER in Railway Maintenance

Railway technology has improved significantly over the centuries – starting with wooden rails firstly introduced in the early 1500’s moving on to cast iron plates fixed to the upper surface of wooden rails that increased durability and load-bearing by the Colebrook Company in the 1790’s to the late 1780’s, where L-shaped metal plates – better known as plateways were introduced.

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Through the years the advancement continued as it worked its way through all-iron edge rail and variations of cast-and-wrought iron. Today we make use of superior all-iron rail, with a high manganese content that allows for high wear-and-fracture resistance.

To keep up with increasing railway innovation, abrasive technology constantly has to adapt and change to meet the demanding task of grinding these superior rails.
Aluminium Oxide, Zirconia Alumina and Ceramic Alumina have become some of the latest raw materials to be mixed and bonded into various formulas for optimum performance during rail maintenance. As hard-wearing, durable rails are heat-treated with a maximum Carbon percentage of up to 0.82, and a maximum Manganese percentage of up to 1.7, it is of utmost importance to ensure a product is used for maintenance that not just deliver optimum results, but also ensure rails keep their durability throughout their lifetime.

Grinding Techniques carries a range of ANDOR grinding wheels specifically manufactured for railways that deliver fast stock removal, longevity and durability.
Our Research and Development Team are constantly testing and reviewing our products to ensure they deliver the best results, regardless of specific customer needs or harsh working conditions.

Rail transport in Australia is a vital aspect to the overall transport network. The Australian railway network consists of 36,064km (as of 2018) of track utilizing 3 types of gauges.
14 818 km of Standard Gauge, 15 625 km of Broad Gauge with the balance made up of Meter Gauge and Narrow Gauge. According to Wikipedia a total of 413.5 billion tonne kilometres of freight was moved by rail between 2015 and 2016. The only way to keep all of this railway in good operating condition and ensuring railway longevity, is regular railway grinding maintenance.

Effectively, this will eliminate multiple defects like Gage Corner Shelling (a progressive internal separation that can crack out), Spalling (localized degradation commonly found at the gage corner of the high rail), Side Wear (wearing at the side of the rail head which wears with the train wheels because of the interaction that can lead to profile change of the rails), Plastic Flow (also known as bodily deformation that results from high loading and tangential to the wheel/rail contact), Corrugation (uneven but regular corrugation shape of wear, either from elastic sliding or vibration) and Rolling Contact Fatigue (cracks in the rail head that occurs over time, which if not treated can propagate its way into the rail web, a precipitating factor of a rail break) when done regularly and efficiently.

When it comes to any and all railway grinding, Andor is the preferred rail maintenance partner. With several machine manufacturers used in railway maintenance, Grinding Techniques features the technology, capabilities, backup and inputs to produce some of the best quality abrasive products available on the market to suit all of the rail equipment grinding consumable requirements. The ANDOR range doesn’t only feature the most common shapes used in rail grinding, but also allow for wheels to be customised according to specific customer requirements.

Three most popular wheels are illustrated below with an indication of their positions on the rail during the grinding process.

A: Commonly used for reprofiling tracks, welding preparation of surfaces and grinding wells for finishing purposes is the ANDOR MP12 wheel. An organic resin bonded wheel with inserted nuts or 5/8” thread, that works in position A and B.

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B: When it comes to grinding the lateral edges of the track, the organic resinoid bonded MC2 wheel gets the job done quickly and efficiently. Workable in the position indicated below of the track.

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C: Used in web grinding to improve contact for welding purposes, the MS9 wheel works in the position C of the track in the below drawing.

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In relation to the below drawing, ANDOR manufactures a range that includes all three these wheels.

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Journey to the future by making Andor your best asset in railway grinding and join the evolution of railways.

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

Sanding Made Easy When It Comes to Power Tools

Sanders are one of the most frequently and extensively used power tools in Industrial workshops and DIY applications. Depending on how often they are used, it makes sense to choose a sander and abrasive product that suits you ergonomically. If you do a large variety of different types of sanding in your workshop for example surface sanding of large flat surfaces, edgework or molding and profile work, you will want to consider purchasing application specific sanders. Unless you are working in a high production environment using a sander for most of the day, a power sander will most likely last you for many years, if used with a quality abrasive product.

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One of the most common challenges faced when using a sander is the visible scratch pattern left behind on the material that has not been eliminated through sanding. This can normally be clearly seen as the visible swirl pattern and milling marks when looking at the surface finish. These surface marks can be eliminated by using high quality application specific engineered abrasives that have consistent uniform grain patterns guaranteeing a more consistent and uniform scratch pattern on your workpiece surface. Selecting the correct sequence of abrasive products and grit sizes to create the desired surface finish is also of utmost importance when sanding with a power tool. When sanding with a progressively finer array of grit sizes will produce a much more constant surface finish which will also eliminate excessively deep swirl and scratch marks created when forcing the sander down to work harder and more aggressively. One must always remember the power tool’s weight should be sufficient for achieving the best sanding results. Excessive pressure whilst sanding creates more heat and dust which promotes clogging that severely affects the lifespan of you abrasive.

The most effective way to keep your surface dust free, is to use a power tool with a dust extractor. This will not only save time when it comes to applying the final finish, but will also ensure minimal dust on your workpiece surface that has to be cleared. Power tools with dust extraction prolongs the life of your abrasive as there will be significantly less clogging.
Random Orbital Sanders, Sheet Orbital Sanders, Detail Sanders and Belt Sanders are some of the most commonly used power sanders used in workshops of a hobbyist or DIYer. Of these, Random Orbital Sanders are with reason the most popular and most frequently used universal power tool due to their effective stock removal capabilities on large surfaces and their ability to deliver a smooth consistent finish.

Their backing pads move in an orbital motion while at the same time moving in an eccentric (off-center) orbit motion. The result is an irregular scratch pattern of swirl marks that can be easily and quickly removed by hand sanding before applying your final finish. There are models available in different strokes per revolution depending on the task at hand. Increasing sanding speed and applying a little more downward pressure will generally increase the cutting power and help to decrease your sanding time. Keeping these benefits in mind, it is important to remember that this will increase the severity of the swirl marks. These power tools are normally available in 125mm & 150mm backing pads with a Velcro clamping system, with discs that are quick and easy to mount and remove. These sanders also normally include a dust extraction bag or canister while some will have a port for connecting to a dust extractor, which will provide the most superior dust extraction.

Sheet Sanders are also called orbital sanders. They generally have a pad that takes a half or one third of a normal sandpaper sheet that is 230 x 280mm. The backing pad normally runs in one direction only, removing material more slowly than Random Orbital Sanders. As a result, the scratch pattern is very consistent. For the best results in wood sanding the sander should be moved in the same direction of the grain of the wood whilst sanding. Some of these sanders take a PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) or Velcro sheet of paper, but most use metal clamps for attaching standard sandpaper sheets you can cut to size or purchase pre-cut. The shape of the backing pad enables them to sand close to the inside of corners, and their compact size makes them easy to control and ideal for sanding narrow surfaces such as table legs and drawer parts.

Detail Sanders come in a few configurations. These power tools are similar to sheet sanders but have triangular pads. Often also called Mouse Sanders, they are typically used by DIYers and hobby woodworkers. These power tools are ideal for reaching the tight hard to reach areas that are inaccessible to conventional sanders. The sandpaper used on these sanders is normally Velcro backed for quick and easy mounting and removal.

When removing large amounts of material very quickly, Belt Sanders are ideal and the most effective. This power tool is suitable for leveling wide and long surfaces or shaping larger curves. Being so universal, this remains a popular tool of choice for carpenters, flooring and cabinet installers, deck builders and the like. Sanding belts ranging from 60x400mm up to 110x610mm are available in various grit sizes and suit most belt sanders on the market.

Whatever your tool of choice, achieving the perfect finish is certainly made possible by using quality product options available in the market.

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

Blending welds successfully

A weld occurs when metal parts are fused together using heat and a filler material, various welding processes exist like MIG/ MAG, TIG or MMA/ STICK welding.

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Depending on the skill of the welder, the need may arise for cleaning and blending of the weld bead after welding.

There are several products on the market to assist in achieving the desired finish. A wide range of abrasive discs, points, burrs, and wheels are available depending on the application. Selecting the correct abrasive consumable will always depend on the available power tool.

When selecting an abrasive product, always use a product for the power tool you feel comfortable with and select a product that is manufactured specifically for the material you intend working on. This will limit excessive heat or discolouration and ensure that the material is not contaminated, reducing the possibility of further welds being required.

In many cases an angle grinding disc would be suitable if stock removal is required, but to achieve both a high-quality finish and stock removal, an abrasive flap disc should be considered.
If your tool is limited to a hand-held drill, spindle mounted flap wheels would be a suitable alternative. If you opt for Tungsten carbide burrs or abrasive Mounted points, you’ll have finer control when finishing small welded areas especially when working in difficult to reach areas, however it needs to be noted that these products operate at higher speeds and will require a die-or-pencil grinder as they do not work on a hand-held drill. Specialist abrasive products like dual purpose cut-and-grind discs are also available making both cutting and grinding applications possible with one product.

When making use of coated products to blend welds, depending on the thickness and size, care should be taken to start with the finest possible grain if a good surface condition is required. The next coarsest grain should be selected only if the stock removal rate is insufficient. This reduces the steps in achieving the desired finish.

When it comes to the decision of what finish would be best, one needs to consider the base type material used and determine if the welds need to be removed. In some cases where the welds are not visible or being painted, they need not be removed.

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

Railway revolution a competent partner in rail.

Grinding Techniques, a well-known abrasive company and part of the Tyrolit group of companies have been supplying abrasive solutions to the railway market for years. With specialised grinding products exported to satisfied customers worldwide, we offer an extensive range of high-quality cut-off and grinding wheels, specialised industrial and diamond tools and a wide range of surface finishing tools. All products are manufactured in accordance with international standards (ISO, EN and OSA).

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Since 2014, Grinding Techniques is an important part of the global TYROLIT Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of grinding and dressing tools and a system for the construction industry based in Austria. As of 1919, TYROLIT’s innovative tools have been making an important contribution to technological development in numerous industries. TYROLIT offers tailored grinding solutions for a varied range of applications and a comprehensive assortment of standard tools for customers all over the world. The family-owned company based in Schwaz, Austria, combines the dynamic strengths of the Swarovski Group with over a hundred years of commercial and technological experience.

TYROLIT believes in thinking and acting globally. With a worldwide sales network currently in 65 countries and with our own production plants in 12 countries on five continents, we
offer our customers all the advantages of a globally operating company.

Grinding Techniques and Tyrolit have long-standing experience in the extremely diverse applications and processes involved in rail machining. With innovative technology, constant research and ongoing improvements to our products and direct contact with our customers, we are continually increasing our leadership in innovation. With our goal of revolutionising the entire industry in mind, we have been manufacturing products to improve safety and all our products are built for optimum performance. Designed for high stock removal and continuance, we are able to not only offer a product that is cost effective, but also well known for its consistent reliability.

When it comes to construction and railway projects, we understand that you require tools to meet demanding deadlines under difficult application conditions.

The requirements for grinding and cut-off wheels for the machining of over-ground and underground railway lines and tram lines are extremely diverse. Whether for manual work or use on grinding trains – Grinding Techniques – as a supplier of both our own and Tyrolit products – are able to deliver suitable products to reduce grinding times combined with increased life, even under the most difficult application conditions.

The newly developed rail cut-off wheels have been designed to be durable and abrasive. These special rail cut-off wheels may only be used for hand-operated cutting, fixed to rail with a suitable clamping device they offer shorter cutting times coupled with minimal effort under extreme conditions such as humidity, cold and fluctuating temperatures. The Zirconium Aluminium Oxide grain in a rigid bond system enables an aggressive cutting performance.

Our cut-off wheels are available in 80 m/s or 100 m/s configurations depending on the machine in use.

When longer sections of track are ground – for prevention or correction – using trains equipped with up to 96 grinding spindles are typically utilised. Our high-quality grinding tools enhance the surface quality of the rails, helping to reduce noise and extend rail lifetime.

Our hand-operated grinding tools are used on short sections of rail for eradicating surface flaws, but also, in particular, for laying new individual rail sections. Grinding the weld seam
produces rail head profiles with high dimensional and shape accuracy.

Whether you need railway cup wheels, straight grinding, domed shaped grinding wheels or fixture points, we are able to manufacture all, including custom specification wheels.

With realistic minimum quantities and competitive production times, technological expertise and attractive prices – we offer a complete package focused on service and customer satisfaction – perfectly positioned to serve and supply your abrasive requirements.

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

Keeping the rollers rolling in your roll grinding shop – partner with Grinding Techniques for perfect steel production

Steel manufacturing companies play a significant role within the South-African economy, not only by providing much needed jobs but also being responsible for the manufacturing of material to be used in various parts of the construction, mining and manufacturing industry.

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Grinding Techniques – a Tyrolit Swarovski Company, locally manufactures a variety of products under the brand name Andor for roll grinding used in the refurbishment of rolls in steel mills. From non-reinforced cut-off wheels used to cut steel samples prior to sanding with (NCH) No Centre Hole sanding discs, to cleaning of the surface in order for the metallurgy of the materials to be analyzed all the way to the roll grinding wheels in the grinding shops. Whether you need abrasives for laboratory work, or roll grinding shops, we offer a complete package to cater for all your abrasive requirements.

Due to the continuous use of rolls to their limit in the production line, an ever-high demand is placed in terms of wear resistance and surface structure of the rolls to promote increase in life and usability. Roll grinding shops within steel plants in particular require high quality grinding wheels to grind and prepare the rolls for use and re-use after refurbishment. Whether focusing on cold or hot mills, it is important to note that each mill presents their own challenge when it comes to machining rolls. Different rolls are used in the process from work rolls to back up rolls and these all have different profiles ranging from flat, CVC or Crown shaped. With new developments in the materials used for roll grinding such HSS, ICDP and forged steels various materials are now presented with a higher percentage chrome content for wear properties, and the advent of fully automated grinding machines, it is now of utmost importance to use reliable, consistent high-quality grinding wheels.

Hot mills require wheels offering fast stock removal rates and high performance, where surface finish tends to be less important. These rolls can range in diameters from 600mm to 800mm and with lengths ranging from 1600mm to 3400mm. In strip- and-plate mills, these diameters can go up to 915mm. Due to their extremely high stock removal rates, grit sizes ranging from 30 to 46 are normally preferred.

Cold mills on the other hand doesn’t have the same amount of material to be removed, but surface finish plays an important role. The work rolls in cold mills range in diameters from 300mm to 700mm and come with lengths up to 2500 mm. Grits sized between 46 and 150 will be preferred, as a finer grit is required to ensure a better surface finish.

Back up rolls in both hot and cold mills provide the necessary support and pressure to the work rolls and are larger in diameter going up to 1600mm. Usually made of cast and forged steels with a chromium composition of 2 to 5 percent, they are not ground as frequently as work rolls but have more material to be removed – in some cases material of up to 2 mm.

Common problems experienced in roll grinding shops such as grinding chatter, traverse marks and bruising can be eliminated when partnering with a manufacturer that understands the quality demands within the industry, and produce wheels of only the highest standards. Grinding Techniques’ research and development center regularly test and review products to ensure that grinding wheels produced conform and exceeds the required standards, and that optimum results, longevity and value are evident when using our products.

Since 1981, we have been a trusted precision wheel supplier to steel mills. Our years of expertise and the latest cutting-edge technology allow us to combine high quality grains and proven bonding systems to manufacture wheels with exceptional stock removal rates, cooler cuts and longevity.

Part of the Tyrolit group since 2014, we are also able to supply specialised Tyrolit grinding wheels specifically manufactured for wire rolling mills. As these mills make use of grooved tungsten carbide rolls, they have a diverse range of wheel designs with specific profiles. As these profiles get worn quite quickly, they need to be regularly ground. Metal bond is the wheel of choice due to its high-profile holding properties for this complex application. With the CSS Wire roll range of super abrasives made in either metal, resin bond or electroplated, you will get both longevity and high stock removal with quality that never disappoints.

Apart from manufacturing and supplying precision grinding wheels, we also carry a range of dressing wheels to dress the wheels back to its original profile, which can be tailor-made with regards to sizes used on different machines.

Grinding Techniques is able to offer a complete abrasive solution with products to suit various applications. With constant innovation, development and research, we have been the preferred precision partner for decades. Let us help you keep the rollers rolling. Contact our precision business development team for more information on customised specifications and sizes to suit your requirements.

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

Getting the job done with Ceramic Abrasives

Ceramic abrasives are one of the newest innovations in grain technology. This high-performance grain has the ability to constantly re-sharpen as is wears, providing fast cutting action through its usable life. They provide the longest life and fastest cut rate of all coated abrasives. They represent the ultimate in performance, providing an aggressive, consistent cut under moderate to high pressure. Ceramic grains feature very small fracture planes which allow each grain to constantly re-sharpen and provide extremely consistent stock removal through its entire life cycle.

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Grinding Techniques proudly South African abrasive manufacturer and coated converter offers ceramic abrasive technology through our partnership with Starcke and Deerfos Abrasives. We offer a wide range of basic and finished products for almost every kind of application. At Grinding Techniques our aim is to provide you with the best coated or bonded abrasive product for your manufacturing process actively, objectively and reliably.

Typical applications where one would benefit from using Ceramic Abrasives includes but is not limited to:

    – Tough and hard to grind materials (Ceramic grains self-sharpening properties ensures a constant high material
    removal rate)
    – Heat and burn sensitive materials (The Top size cooling agent ensures a cooler cutting action eliminating heat
    buildup and premature dulling of the grains)
    – Applications where the output of parts in high volumes within the shortest time possible is a requirement. (Due
    to the fast cutting action of ceramic grains, the material removed is far superior to any other conventional
    abrasive grain in the same amount of time)

The quality of coated abrasives depends on numerous parameters such as the amount of grain and weight per unit area, the quantity of base, topcoat and curing temperatures. These parameters have been defined with a view to production and substantiated by quality assurance measures after every manufacturing step for each product. Not only do we manufacture abrasive products according to ISO standards, at Grinding Techniques we also strive to consistently meet and exceed maximum standards to ensure compliance with strict customer requirements.

Longevity and outstanding surface quality are the most important factors when it comes to supplying quality coated abrasive products. The world of “coated abrasives” presents itself with as much diversity as there are materials in order to achieve precise stock removal on metal, varnish, wood, natural stone, glass, plastics, ceramics and rubber. Our stock is easy to cut to all shapes, lengths and widths. Being a local converter of coated abrasive products, this is done according to customer requirements in order to facilitate and optimize delivery time, logistics and stock keeping for all parties concerned.

Coated abrasive products supplied by Grinding Techniques are designed to give the finishing touch to a wide variety of materials in the metal and wood industry and many more industrial sectors.

Contact us for the latest innovation in coated abrasives. Training and technical assistance is available from our product specialists who are ready to provide solutions to all your questions and processing issues.

Contact us on: 011 271 6400 | info@grindtech.com | www.grindtech.com.

Grinding Techniques remain the partner of choice for the Foundry Industry

Since the beginning of time, man found value in utilising various materials for the production of products related to self-sustainability. These materials evolved over time as technology and knowledge increased. From the humble beginnings of the copper age to the current highly sophisticated alloy age, casting of materials in usable forms and shapes remain a critical function.

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The oldest metal casting known to man is believed to be a frog casting in Mesopotamia around 3200 BCE. It was the first cast product to show the forming of a mould prior to casting the molten metal.

The bronze age was the era where tin and copper were mixed in the melting process, the new metal was developed in Turkey, Iran and Iraq. It was however the Egyptians that really perfected this process to a fine art and produced many a weapon and other industrial appliances, dominating the bronze age.

With the iron age that followed, the Chinese mastered the art of metal casting and the systematic production of metals around 1000 BC. They managed to mass produce cast tools and farming equipment and the world’s first cannons and gunpowder. Along with the change in metal production came the changes in the agricultural, religious and cultural spectrums. Europe was only able to produce its first iron products 1000 years later.

After the iron age, the industrial age followed. This era was known as the age of the technical revolution. The demand for cast products was on the rise, and soon new machines were developed to keep up with mass production and demand. Products now casted would include machine components, engine components, rail equipment, equipment for the airline industry, and a vast array of other consumer goods.

Through the evolution of castings, the basics still remained the same; make the mould, melt the metal, cast, cool and finish off.

As the science of metallurgy has grown in the past three hundred years, so too has the methods used to machine and shape the relevant products. In ancient times, sand stone was used to “file” the relevant pieces. Eventually bigger grinding stones were mounted on hand turned machines to grind and sharpen products. Today we have Ceramicists and Bio-chemical Engineers developing bonding systems for new artificial abrasive minerals being created. Machines that run at speeds exceeding 100m/s and achieving metal removal rated higher than ever before, whilst maintaining form accuracy to literally micron tolerances. Alloys are now being developed to be harder than glass, but still maintain the toughness synonymous with steel and metal related products.

As the science of metallurgy has grown in the past three hundred years, so too has the methods used to machine and shape the relevant products. In ancient times, sand stone was used to “file” the relevant pieces. Eventually bigger grinding stones were mounted on hand turned machines to grind and sharpen products. Today we have Ceramicists and Bio-chemical Engineers developing bonding systems for new artificial abrasive minerals being created. Machines that run at speeds exceeding 100m/s and achieving metal removal rated higher than ever before,
whilst maintaining form accuracy to literally micron tolerances. Alloys are now being developed to be harder than glass, but still maintain the toughness synonymous with steel and metal related products.

Grinding Techniques – a Tyrolit Swarovski company is uniquely positioned to offer application-based solutions. With more than 138 combined years of experience in manufacturing abrasive tools, both Tyrolit and Grinding Techniques are able to offer a comprehensive range of specialised products.

The product range for a typical foundry application includes, but is not limited to:

    – Hand Program (cutting and grinding discs)
    – Vitrified Grinding Wheels & Segments (precision grinding wheels, bench grinding wheels, laboratory surface grinding wheels, toolroom wheels)
    – Resin Bonded Wheels & Segments (swing-frame and pedestal grinding wheels)
    – Mounted Points, and Bullnose Cones
    – Tungsten Carbide Burrs
    – Water and Cabinet Paper Sheets
    – Flap Discs
    – Fibre Discs
    – No Centre Hole Discs
    – Bobbin Sleeves – Also known as even-run or spiral bands
    – Velcro Discs
    – Grinding Belts
    – Diamond & CBN Precision Grinding Wheels
    – Diamond Discs
    – Wire Wheels & Brushes

Our ability to manufacture custom made products to assist in optimising your fettling processes, is unrivalled in the industry today. Our understanding of metallurgy and equipment has propelled us to a become leading role player in the Foundry Industry. Our new innovative Premium Ceramic and Zirconia products are a prime example of market leading technology.

We offer an optimization service that allows for scientific comparison in all aspects of the grinding tool process from the material removal rate, to tool life comparisons and heat generation.

With one of the most comprehensive product ranges available in the Southern African market today, it is no wonder Grinding Techniques is the Industry partner of choice when it comes to the Foundry Industry.

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

The Art of Hand Sanding

Grinding Techniques explains how important it is to choose the correct sandpaper when doing some hand sanding.

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We all love the speed and convenience of power tools when refurbishing furniture or sanding the garage door at home. But once the heavy sanding is done, the power tools finish
finds it difficult to compete with a little hand sanding. Power sanders leave a small but noticeable scratch pattern that could become more visible after your final coating is applied.

Hand sanding even when using the same grit size that was used on your power sander produces a finer and more consistent scratch pattern which normally disappears under the
first coat of varnish, stain or oil. Hand sanding also gives you more flexibility and control when it comes to sanding in hard to reach places. When sanding contours, corners and
curves there is not much that beats a sheet or strip of sandpaper that can also be used with a sanding block.

When taking on a project at home or at the office, we can agree that anyone would like to do as little sanding as possible. Therefore, we only buy the correct amount of sandpaper and
variety of grit sizes that we think we might need to complete the project. In most instances you will be able to complete your project with just 3 grit sizes of sanding sheets, for example
100, 150 and 220 grit. It is always advised to test a small sample piece of wood on your project to see whether you will reach your desired finish before purchasing your sandpaper.
It is also recommended not to sand with half used sandpaper scraps due to their bluntness and inconsistent wear as it can leave uneven scratch patterns on your surface.

When sanding by hand we are left with two choices, wet or dry sanding. Dry sanding offers more control and you have good visibility of what you are doing and the finish. Dry sanding
however does tend to clog your sandpaper much quicker. It is always more beneficial to use a stearate coated sheet equipped with an anticlogging agent for such dry sanding applications.

In wet sanding, use a liquid such as mineral spirits or soapy water to provide lubrication that aids in floating away the debris that would have clogged the sandpaper. For this application,
use a silicon carbide wet or dry abrasive sheet, more commonly known as water paper.

Finally, you can use non-woven hand pads that contain just enough abrasive to remove small imperfections without cutting through your finish.

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

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.

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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 | info@grindtech.com | www.grindtech.com.

Grinding Techniques, Your Coated Partner for Brilliant Metal Surfaces

Industrial applications require a high degree of specialization. Grinding Techniques offers you Pearl grinding abrasive products from Starcke – the exact tool for your grinding needs.

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With these products a perfect surface and optimal product life can be assured. You can rely on Starcke Coated Abrasives as it carries the “Made in Germany” quality mark.

The Pearl grinding product range obtains its uniqueness from the mineral (grain) used to perform the cutting action. Granulated abrasive grains are pearl shaped that ensure consistent surface quality and removal rates. This abrasive technology is also known as agglomerate abrasives. Agglomerate abrasives is a combination of several identically sized abrasive grains that are shaped into a larger granulate using a resin before being spread onto a backing. Synthesized like this these abrasive granules form a firm bond that are attached to a material backing.

There are a few main advantages one can benefit from using the Pearl coated abrasive products. Very consistent surface finish is ensured; abrasive minerals go through a self-sharpening process throughout its life cycle, thus having continuous and uniform sharp edges exposed. Stock removal rates are higher than with conventional abrasive grains and longer longevity in the product life ensures perfect results whilst saving costs and time.

The Pearl range is well suited for the repair of coils and plates in a rolling mill. Pearl products also display their high performance in applications involving the use of water, emulsion and oil. With its high bond hardness, Pearl abrasives have the ideal application characteristics for edge grinding of flat rolled steel materials. Due to its uniform surface grinding characteristics they are perfect to produce a polished or matt surface finish.

Our Pearl offering is also suited for centerless grinding of tubes, bars and cylinders with a bonding system that is optimally suited for wet and dry grinding machine applications. With its regenerative concept, consisting of granulated abrasive grains and bonding system, the Pearl product offering guarantees a consistently uniform wire surface finish. This ensures perfect removal of mill scales from the wire and a uniform feed of the wire material throughout the product’s useful life, significantly reducing wear of the drawing plate.

Contact one of our Product Specialists at Grinding Techniques for a Pearl grinding solution to benefit from a product with longevity whilst maintaining a consistent stock removal and a consistent scratch depth and workpiece surface.

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

Must have abrasives for your toolbox

Any DIY enthusiast will inevitably need to cut, grind or sand something. A selection of abrasives is a must have in your toolbox for any DIY project. The market offers an extensive variety of abrasive products to suit various applications ranging from sanding to cutting and grinding at home.

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A broad range of cutting-and-grinding discs suited to many applications are available in different sizes and specifications. As discs are manufactured for both ferrous and non-ferrous materials, care should be taken when choosing the correct disc for an intended application and the information displayed on the disc label should be taken into account.
Apart from conventional cutting-and-grinding discs, some manufacturers carry a special purpose cutting-and-grinding disc range suited for specialised applications like radius cutting or cut-and-grind applications.

Most cutting-and-grinding discs are available in different sizes to fit both the 115-and-230mm standard diameter angle grinders. When choosing a quality disc, look out for a brand that offers fast and smooth cuts with high stock removal, durability and longevity.

Discs, rolls and paper all form part of coated abrasives and are used in numerous different applications. Whether you are sanding by hand to smooth down a surface or using a powerful belt sander or right-angle grinder to remove large amounts of material or shape a piece of wood within seconds, there are various products available to get the job done quick and effortlessly.
When choosing the correct sanding paper, you need to evaluate the intended application first. Cabinet paper more commonly known as “Wood Sanding or Garnet Sheets” is known as a cost-effective product that provides a fast cutting action and uniform quality finish on woodworking applications, and is ideal for sanding wood surfaces treated with primer, sealer, lacquer, paint and other liquid coatings and finishes. Waterproof paper sheets more commonly known as “Wet or Dry or Water Paper Sheets on the other hand, offer a bit more longevity, faster cut rate and a consistent finish with popular applications like light duty metal sanding, defect removal from paint surfaces, sanding of composites and fiberglass, as well as filler sanding, sanding between sealers and coats of paint or varnish.

Floor sanding rolls or 300mm X 1m rolls, is an economical product with great versatility for a variety of general-purpose applications and offer a heavy-duty backing that ensures fast cutting action – ideal for hand sanding, paint and rust removal. Handy rolls more commonly known as “Economy or Emery rolls” come with a flexible cloth backed material best suited for scouring, deburring, breaking edges and the removal of rust and scale from metals. All available in various grit sizes and 25, 40 and 50mm widths to make the choice for your application easier.
Abrasive discs are another product considered as an essential abrasive for your toolbox. Velcro backed sanding discs or sheets are used with power sanders and allow for a 40% to 50% faster cut rate with a more consistent and uniform scratch pattern than other conventional abrasives. Typical applications would include sanding wood and paint removal. Fiber discs, also used on power sanders are used for high stock removal and require a suitable back up pad.

Flap discs are bolted directly onto a right-angle grinder offering both high stock removal and sanding applications. With flap discs available in different grit sizes and specifications, they have become a popular alternative to conventional resin Fiber discs.

Whatever abrasive product you choose for your toolbox, you are sure to find a vast selection of options at your nearest retailer.

Article courtesy of Grinding Techniques: 011 271 6400 | info@grindtech.com | www.grindtech.com.

Important safety factors to consider when choosing products for cutting and grinding with angle grinders

A right-angle grinder, commonly known as an angle grinder is a very powerful and useful tool but can also be a very dangerous tool if not used correctly.

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Selecting the correct size machine is essential to ensure a safe operation – for instance using a 230mm diameter machine to grind down welds on palisade fencing will prove to be very unmanageable and quite possibly very dangerous.

Conventional angle grinders come in various sizes ranging from 100mm up to 230mm diameter, with the 115mm and 230mm diameter as the most popular in South Africa.

When selecting the correct angle grinder, the size of the disc that will be used should be considered. A disc too large for the given machine (i.e. using a 125mm diameter disc on a 115mm diameter machine) will run at a higher speed than it is rated for, resulting in a very dangerous operation. Disc size diameters are clearly displayed on the labels for easy reference.
Further to selecting the correct sized disc, power and speed of the angle grinder also plays a significant role. POWER refers to the measurement of input or output wattage that the machine uses (depending on the manufacturer). Generally, the rule of thumb is that a higher power rating ensures a better performance of the abrasive product. When an abrasive disc is cutting or grinding, it is putting additional load on the machine. If the machine is under-powered, the extra strain may cause a reduction in motor speed, causing potential damage to the machine and underperformance of the disc. More often than not, an underperforming disc then results in more pressure being applied by the operator which then makes the disc perform even worse and also potentially causes disc breakages.

SPEED on the other hand, is clarified as the rate at which the disc will turn (measured in Metres per Second and stated as the RPM). The maximum operating speed of a standard cutting or grinding disc is 80 metres per second (peripheral speed). Depending on the size of the disc, this will then relate back to a higher or lower RPM rating; 80m/s on a 115mm disc equates to 13 300 RPM, while 80m/s on a 230mm disc equates to 6650 RPM. For this reason, it is imperative that an angle grinder must only be used with a disc size particularly made for that machine.
Another very important factor to consider would be the standard accessories. All angle grinders should have a safety guard that must be fitted to the machine at all times , a handle and a retainer nut for securing the disc. Retainer nuts are available in various types and they are for fitting the disc to the machine, including are some that don’t require a spanner to fasten and loosen. Regardless of which type, make sure that you are not over tightening it as these machines are designed to self-tighten on start-up, therefore requiring only tightening by hand.
Remember to inspect discs for potential damage prior to use. The periphery of the disc should be intact, not chipped or frayed and it should be flat, not warped. Never attempt to bend or twist the disc as the fibre reinforcing will be damaged and potentially form a dangerous crack.

Safe usage and operation pictograms are displayed on each disc label that should present the following markings:

    OSA – Organisation for Safety of Abrasives: These manufacturers commit to certified quality management with documented processes and internal testing facilities of the highest competence ensuring product safety for the end user

    EN Standard – European safety requirement for bonded abrasive products (such as cutting and grinding discs – EN 12413)

    Safety pictograms – these pictograms show the required PPE to ensure safety for the operator and includes gloves, ear protection, eye protection etc.

    Material Applications – the disc will identify which type of materials it may be used on. Note that this will quite possibly only be a general identifier (such as “Metal”). Contact the manufacturer should you require more detail on specific applications.

    Wheel type – this will tell you whether the disc is manufactured for free hand cutting, stationary machine cutting or grinding applications.

    A cutting disc should never be used to grind with or cut anything but in a straight line. Bending the disc to cut a curve or radius will result in the fibre reinforcing becoming damaged and may cause wheel failure.

    For grinding applications, a minimum grinding angle of 30 degrees is essential. This is what is termed the angle of attack. The optimal range is between 30 and 40 degrees to the surface. Should you increase the angle of attack, the disc will be dressed more and the effectiveness of the grind will be reduced. This could also lead to chatter marks and large, deep scratches in the workpiece. Should you reduce the angle of attack, you run the risk of overheating the face of the disc which will cause the disc to start fragmenting and may become a major safety hazard.

    Taking the time to choose the correct tool and using this in conjunction with the highest quality, value for money abrasive products will ensure that you complete your task safely and with minimal effort.

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

Grinding Techniques Your Partner in Ship Building and Repairs

A wide variety of abrasives coated and bonded are used when building and repairing marine vessels. Grinding Techniques, a local manufacturer of bonded, and converter of coated abrasives is your perfect partner with quality abrasive products suited to various applications for the ship building and repair industry. The first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of large marine vessels being built and repaired would be enormous structures fabricated from very large pieces of metal.

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There are however thousands of parts inside a ship that also need to be fabricated and maintained by using a wide variety of bonded and coated abrasives. Cutting and grinding discs form a big part of the selected abrasive product range whilst fabricating these smaller parts which will include the vessels tubes, pipes, stairs and even the balustrades to mention a few.

Grinding Techniques locally manufactures a comprehensive range of Superflex cutting and grinding discs for all applications and materials to be cut or ground. Further to this, we also carry a full range of coated abrasive products for the finishing and polishing requirements of these manufactured parts.

When it comes to cutting and grinding applications on a vessel there would be a variety of scenarios to be considered, for example the accessibility of the area where the work needs to be performed and what material type is to be cut or ground. Understanding the final required finish of the material to be worked on is also of utmost importance when selecting the best suited abrasive product for the job at hand. Angle grinders would be the most preferred power tool to use in confined spaces of a vessel due to their size and the comfort of use they offer to the operator. Carbon steel, aluminum and stainless steel would be the most common material used for components in ship building. Special care needs to be taken when selecting the ideal cutting or grinding disc for each material type and application. Always ensure that the correct specification cutting or grinding disc is used for the type of material to be worked on. One of the common challenges in shipbuilding with various materials involved is the cross-contamination of cutting and grinding discs and material ground. Products specifically designed to cut aluminum for example should not be used to cut steel and stainless steel. When cutting stainless steel for example always use the disc on stainless steel only for its entire life cycle to preserve optimal product performance and avoid cross-contamination of materials. At Grinding Techniques, we have a full range of application specific “Superflex” cutting and grinding discs for every material to be cut or ground. Contact one of our product specialists for a safe and task specific abrasive solution for your applications.

Our full range of coated abrasive products include flap discs, resin bonded fiber discs and Velcro backed sanding discs to name a few – all manufactured with the highest materials to meet any surface finish requirement. In addition to this, we also offer a full range of wire brushes used in the ship building and repair industry.

At Grinding Techniques, the safety of our customers is a top priority. Operator training is offered to reduce the labor time spent while cutting and grinding as products perform at their best when used at the correct angle, pressure and speeds on the correct materials.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.