Thanks to modern advances in machining practices and techniques, it is possible to get geometrically precise bores, cylinders, and general refinement at or below one micron of desired specifications. This level of accuracy allows for the creation of highly complicated machines such as engines or any item that needs to have well honed parts for peak operation. In addition to automotive and industrial uses, honing is a highly needed step in preparing medical devices.
Why is Honing Important?
The general process of honing is completed by using a rotary machine that employs honing abrasives and oils to finish surfaces. Often the final touch, or close to it, honing can be the last refining process that ensures whatever item you are creating is as close to its technical specifications as possible. The most easily recognized item that requires honing is the cylinders of an automotive. The pistons require an exactly accurate cylinder to operate inside of. Unfinished surfaces can impact performance and a warped cylinder component can lead to complete engine failure.
How are Honing Machines Different than Using Rotary Devices?
Unlike general grinding, the speeds used with honing machines tends to be around 250 fpm (feet per minute), which also translates into 76.2 m/min (meters per minute. For comparison, the average home rotary tool only spins at ¼ to 1/8 of that speed. The speed of the tools rotations combined with type of honing abrasive used and the shifting of the machine station come together to create the right amount of torque and force that allows for the highest level of machining accuracy.
Given the wide range of components that require honing, customized fixtures are created for the item to rest in before it goes into the industrial honing machine. In comparison to standard and conventional processes, is that honing machines do not need to be chucked or aligned before and during each run through of an item. These fixtures not only reduce the general cost, but increase the speed of production without costing accuracy.
What Impacts the Efficiency?
The two most crucial elements that effect just how accurate and efficient a honing machine can be are the abrasive and honing oils used. A wide range of materials can be used for the abrasive, which are either built into a single component called the stone, or it may be on a sheath that is coated with a fine grit, such as diamond, to ensure that the total width of the spindle is a single grain. The abrasive surface itself can be the most crucial part that determines just how accurate the final result is.
The other important element is the oil or lubricant used to not only affect the level of friction, but to diffuse the heat created by the honing process. It also helps prevent chips and burrs removed during the process from sticking to the abrasive surface, which can ruin or damage the final result. From minor to major industries, no shop or factory owner wants to expend more man hours or materials when it can be avoided. The bottom line is that using a quality honing machine with the right abrasive and lubricant can not only save time and money, it can guarantee a superior quality product.