Article From: September's Issue of Production Machining, By Chris Koepfer , Editor-in-Chief
Centerless grinding is one of the grinding methods that can be applied to micro machining. It is applied in medical, automotive and aerospace manufacturing where parts’ diameters and tapers are generated at extremely tight tolerances. The surface finishes that grinding can achieve are key to these applications. However, applying the centerless grinding process can often be arduous, time consuming, costly and inefficient. In addition, most centerless grinding machine companies focus their efforts on parts more than 0.125 inch.
Glebar Company, a New Jersey-based engineering and manufacturing firm, has developed a line of grinding machines to micromachine very accurate parts.
Since 1952, Glebar has focused on very small diameters, which became more significant with the advent of cardiovascular devices developed in the 1960s. The company pioneered the process of grinding guidewires used in minimally invasive surgery such as balloon angioplasty procedures. Its machines were able to achieve diameters and tapers down to 0.002 inch using centerless grinding techniques—a dimension thought unfathomable by most other centerless grinding manufacturers at the time.