Grinding All Kinds Of Exotic Metals

New Product Announcements From: 12/15/2003 Modern Machine Shop
The MDP grinder is a fully controllable, cost-effective, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly grinding solution. The grinder is said to grind any metal thanks to its Molecular Decomposition Process (MDP) which removes metal by 'decomposing' it with the assistance of electric current and abrasives. As the electric current flows through the electrolyte between the positively charged workpiece and the negatively charged abrasive wheel, a decomposing action occurs causing the surface metal to soften. The soft surface of the alloy is monitored by the Molecular Process Control (MPC) and "wiped away" by the abrasives in the wheel, exposing more surface material to allow the process to start over. The control uses fuzzy logic and neural network technology to automate processes that previously required constant user intervention: process optimization, setup presets, electrolyte conductivity, decomposition rate and grinding speed. This closed loop monitoring allows the control to react on-time to any change of the pre-set parameters while the machine is in operation. The result is said to be no heat, stress or distortion generated even when grinding extra-thin workpieces. Power consumption is reduced by at least 60 percent because it modulates the power output (0-18 volts and from 300 to 1000 amps) to meet the exact power needs at all times, eliminating excess power usage during non-machining periods. Productivity improves since there is no time lag between detection of sub-optimal performance and the resulting correction. The control provides on-time information on the decomposition rate of a given alloy and is capable of speed regulation with less than 1% variation. With precise controls, 90 percent of scrap is eliminated, saving valuable machine time, parts and labor. The control further saves setup time because it automatically detects the metallurgical "fingerprints" of the workpiece, identifying its material, size, shape and location. Part of the grinding package is an Electrolyte Management System (EMS) which takes care of problems like dirty electrolytes, excessive power usage and toxic waste disposal. As electrolyte monitoring systems are not available in today's electrochemical grinders, shops unknowingly re-use badly contaminated electrolytes. Chips and debris in the electrolyte are highly conductive and this changes the overall conductivity of the electrolyte as it interfaces with the wheel and the workpiece. Even if precise power output was set at the start of the operation, precisely modulated power cannot be applied to the workpiece. Combined with poor electrical system design, this generates more resistance and increased electrical energy usage. The usual fix is to change the electrolyte often but it leads to toxic liquid waste disposal problems. The new system eliminates the generation of liquid toxic wastes by constantly cleaning and filtering the electrolytes. Suspended solids, metal chips, swarfs, oxides and grinding wheel residues settle in the tank's patented filtration system and mix with the company's DTS-18 electrolyte, converting the contaminated liquid waste into small, non-toxic, semi-dry cakes. Complementing the system is VOLTRON electrochemical cutoff and grinding wheels that are specially formulated with a copper catalyst to allow enhanced conductivity control of each wheel. Since the conductivity of the wheel can be modulated, closer tolerances can now be achieved. New bonds featuring constant conductivity and superior strength have been developed, leading to the production of resin-bonded wheels as thin as .020" and flatness within .0005". The wheels are specially useful when machining precision instruments like thin cannula which strictly requires burr-free cutting or slotting so that the fine tubes won't get clogged with workpiece shavings. Instead of sharp edges, fine radial surfaces can be produced eliminating possible damage when inserting other fragile components to the workpiece. Voltron wheels are easy to dress to any shape and can maintain the shape for longer periods than regular grinding wheels, increasing their productivity by up to 60%. Voltron diamond and CBN wheels, for example, have wear ratios of 10:1 over aluminum oxide wheels. Voltron also has a specially formulated metal bond "N" which produces heavy cuts up to 0.50" in one pass and enables it to produce wheels as thick as 2" and as thin as .0003". Due to the inter-dependence of system components required to produce the desired results, the system is sold as package only (Grinder, Electrolyte Management System, DTS-18 Electrolyte and Voltron wheels.)
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