Published on July 1st 2021 in

Tech Talk with Saint-Gobain – Grinding with a cutting wheel?

There are many tools, such as a spanner, that are easy to use, not labelled and have no user manual. When it comes to cutting and grinding tools, the stakes are higher – including the attention to safety. An incorrectly selected cutting or grinding wheel or its improper operation poses a greater risk to the user, as a cutting wheel can spin up to 360km/h, which is as fast as an aeroplane turbine.

Selecting the correct wheel for your project is important as the vast majority of products are made for a specific application or power tool. For example, you cannot grind with a cutting wheel, and you cannot cut with a grinding wheel.

The top four reasons people get injured using thin wheels are:

  1. Excessive side pressure on a cutting wheel, often referred to as leaning.
  2. Jamming/pinching a cut-off wheel in the work piece. This happens because there is either poor control of the angle grinder, no handle is used, the work is being done above head height, or the work piece is moving.
  3. Vibration of the work piece because it is moving or not secure.
  4. Poor storage of the wheel. This could be that it is exposed to high-temperature variations, or excessive dry or humid storage conditions (damaged between uses).

Selecting the correct wheel for job

Wheels are categorised by type, which also reflects their profile:

Type 41 and 42 cutting wheels – use at 90 degrees

  • used for cutting only.
  • various thicknesses available 0.8mm to 3.4mm.

Type 27 grinding wheels – use at 30 degrees

  • used for grinding only.
  • available thicknesses 4mm to 10mm.
  • flexible wheels require a backing pad.

Type 28 and 29 grinding wheels – use at 15 degrees

  • use for grinding, polishing, blending and cleaning.

Use and safety steps

  • Always check product speed and machine are compatible; machine speed should NEVER be greater than speed marked on the product.
  • Examine wheel – make sure there are no faults.
  • Examine grinder – flanges correct, guard and handle are fitted.
  • Mount wheel correctly using flange as a guide.
  • Hand tighten – don’t over tighten.
  • Make sure safety guard is in the right position for cutting or grinding.
  • Make sure safety gear is on – gloves, hearing protection, eye protection.
  • Plug grinder in and start grinder away from self and anyone else and let it run at full speed without contact with anything. This ensures it’s mounted correctly and there’s no damage to the wheel that’s not seen by the naked eye.
  • Make sure work piece is secure.
  • Do not apply too much pressure – let the weight of the grinder do the cutting without force.
  • Always store wheels correctly.

 The variety of sizes, shapes and specifications of thin wheels requires clear labelling. Thin wheels that display the oSa trademark meet these high requirements, providing the best level of safety.

All Saint-Gobain thin wheel products meet the Australian AS1788 Part 1 and 2, and the European EN12413 safety requirements for abrasive products. Saint-Gobain sites are also ISO9001 and ISO14001 accredited, and Saint-Gobain is a founding member of oSa and a member of FEPA.

For more information, contact the Norton Experts on 1300 007 650.

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