Machine Grinds Delicate Tubes for Nuclear Power Plant

Grinding alumina (ceramic) spacers for nuclear applications.

Founded in 1952, Glebar Company, manufacturer of centerless grinders, brought to market the first compact centerless form grinder.

Today, the company maintains its focus to design and produce precision grinding solutions with a small footprint – expanding beyond centerless.

Much of their recent work has been on precision centerless grinding components ranging from a wide range of automotive components to micron-thin medical guidewires. Achieving optimal accuracy is paramount for success in these industries – such is the case for the nuclear energy sector: Enter the DD-7 Double Disc Grinder.

A recent case study demonstrates the machine’s ability to precision grind small delicate tubes made of alumina (a form of commercial ceramic). These tubes serve as rod spacers found in nuclear power plants.

“The length of the components is extremely critical to the efficiency of the fuel rod. The components need to be processed at a high rate with the length verified for all parts,” states Glebar President, John Bannyan. “The biggest challenge was how to handle this delicate material, as it is susceptible to chipping due to the brittle characteristics of this ceramic component.”

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