Duval Precision Grinding has been providing precision grinding services for OEMs in the aerospace industry for more than a decade. Recently, one of our returning customers approached us with a challenge. They needed spherical OD grinding on bearing components for helicopter rotor assemblies.

Programming for Complex 3D Objects

OD grinding spherical objects presents a unique geometrical challenge. The grinding operator must be able to program the machine to achieve the right dimensions while the X-axis and the Z-axis are moving simultaneously. It requires custom CNC programming by an experienced grinder to accomplish. Duval’s precision grinding team worked with the customer to ensure the parts would meet their exact specifications and were able to create the custom programming needed to complete the job. At Duval, “precision is our only product”, so we are always willing to do what it takes to successfully fulfill complex orders that may need a little extra time and attention.

Material Considerations For Spherical Surface Grinding Coated Parts

The bearings were made of aluminum, which is a suitably lightweight metal for aerospace components. However, it is not very wear-resistant. To increase the longevity of the rotor assembly ball bearings, the customer applied a hard plate coating. Grinding the coating required the use of a diamond-tipped wheel to complete.

In addition to being a lightweight material, aluminum also has a high thermal expansion rate. However, the coating did not. Too much heat during the grinding process could cause the aluminum component to expand faster than the coating, which could create undesired cracks and flaws. All of our grinding operations are temperature controlled to ensure accuracy. Final inspections for the bearings were performed in our temperature controlled inspection areas to guarantee the accuracy of the final tolerance measurements.

The customer was highly satisfied with the work completed by Duval. They have continued to work with our grinding team because of the reliable quality we are able to provide. For more information about precision grinding services for aerospace components, contact us today.


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