Fraunhofer IPK

Institut für Produktionsanlagen und Konstruktionstechnik

Digital Transformation - Englische Ausgabe 2017

Well Designed

3D Grinding Tool Characterization Using Computer Tomography

Grinding is usually one of the last process steps in the manufacturing of functional surfaces. In recent years, the requirements regarding economic efficiency, lifetime and quality have steadily increased. At the same time, product lifecycles have become shorter, particularly for consumer goods. As a result, the product development as well as the subsequent market introduction must be more efficient and faster. Therefore, both manufacturing processes and the involved tools need to be designed more flexibly and dynamically.

The design of grinding tools evolves mostly based on empirical knowledge in a series of development steps. To develop in-depth insights into the composition, topography, hardness, rigidity, and quality of the production process of grinding tools, engineers at IWF develop and use various methods for grinding tool characterization. Aside from 3-D optical and tactile topography measurement as well as the identification of e-modules, the engineers perform structural investigations using computer tomographic (CT) images.

During CT imaging, the test piece rotates. This allows to create a three-dimensional model of the test piece. In cases of abrasive grinding tools, the model differenciates the individual components of the piece such as the bond, the porosity or the abrasives, because the X-ray absorption varies for different materials. With the help of specifically developed software tools, the images reveal the distribution, size and shape of the different components. This gives the engineers the opportunity to investigate the influence of pore forming materials or the shape, surface and volume of individual abrasive grains. In conjunction with technological examinations of different grinding processes the developed measurement tools help to comprehend the influence of the grinding tool on the process behaviour and work results. Characteristic values describing the complex nature of grinding tools can make a significant contribution to optimizing the design process of grinding tools in regard to a specific process task.

3D tool characterization for an abrasive filament with embedded abrasive particles
(© IWF TU Berlin)

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