Care and Maintenance of Diamond Wheels
Diamond wheels provide the maximum performance and high-speed cutting on demanding materials. Proper care and maintenance will ensure that the wheel gives the superior results for the maximum time. The steps are not difficult and well worth the effort.
Make sure that spindles, back plates and flanges are always clean before installing a new wheel. Use a dial indicator to check that the rotation of the wheel is within 0.0005 inch, 12.7 microns, of true. Tighten the flanges once the wheel is true and double-check tightness before use.
Diamond cutting wheels should only be used to make straight cuts. Twisting or jamming the wheel can cause fatigue and segment loss. Excess pressure should not be applied when making cuts.
When performing any cutting or grinding process, all work materials require firm support. Excess overhang should be avoided; even slight tilting can create an angled cut.
Feed and grinding speed
Material must be fed into the wheel at the appropriate speed. A feed rate that is too fast will cause chatter and vibration. This will result in a poor cut and possibly damage the cutting edge of the wheel.
Diamond wheels work best at speeds between 5,000 to 6,000 surface feet per minute. Running at lower speeds can lead to glazing.
Using the wrong cutting wheel, one with a bond that is too hard for the working material, will create glazing. The easiest way to avoid this is using a blade that is matched to the material. Dressing the blade is a maintenance technique, but dressing does slow down production and reduce the life of the wheel.
Dressing a diamond wheel cleans the build up of debris from cutting operations that block the abrasive surface. The resurfacing restores the sharp abrasive edges of the diamond coating. A dressing stick, normally aluminum oxide or silicone carbide, is used to cut through or remove the debris and expose new diamond material.
Make an arrow mark on the wheel showing the rotation direction the first time and always dress the wheel with it spinning in the same direction. Dressing a wheel in both directions will destroy it.
Dressing is accomplished by simply making a straight cut through the dressing stick or bar. Cut off a thin section per pass. Only one or two cuts through the stick should be required.
If a dressing stick is not available, a section of asphalt can be used. Make a few cuts into the asphalt and the blade should be clean.
Coolant should be used for maximum results. The coolant needs to spray to contact where the cutting wheel and material meet. A weak soluble oil solution may be used to reduce corrosion.
If dark streaks form along the sides of the cutting edge, the wheel is being overheated. Excess heat can cause the wheel to break apart. If dry cutting is being performed, allow the wheel to cool for about 10 seconds for every 30 seconds of cutting operation.
Use the right grade wheel, designed for the material to prevent injuries from reactive force or throw back. Never use a wheel that shows signs of fracture, fatigue or broken segments.