Recently, a customer reached out seeking precision grinding on perforated aluminum plates for a vacuum chuck used in the research, development, and production of improved solid-state batteries. The nature of the materials required a creative approach guided by extensive experience to secure the parts for grinding. An initial call helped us begin developing an appropriate process plan, followed by written specifications detailing the parts and grinding requirements to ensure accuracy. 

Precision Grinding Secures Reliable Equipment Performance

Since this component was part of a vacuum chuck assembly, a tool component that holds parts steady during work processes via suction rather than magnetism, the correct finish was critical to result in a secure vacuum seal. When the plates arrived for grinding, clear anodized coating on the surface indicated that these were previously finished parts— however, the components did not meet the customer’s required surface flat within 0.0005″, making additional surface grinding necessary for the vacuum chuck to operate successfully. 

This type of grinding operation would typically be performed on a machine using magnetic chucks to hold the part steady during grinding. Due to their non-ferrous aluminum composition, we were unable to use the standard magnetic tooling in our machinery to hold the parts securely during the surface grinding operation. This required creative thinking to develop an innovative solution for the problem.

Innovative Fixturing Results in Accurate Precision Grinding

It can be easy to underestimate the importance of how a part is held during precision grinding processes. A part must be secure and stable to remain steady through grinding to ensure accurate results. However, it’s also critical to be conscious of the material characteristics, as improper fixturing could result in damage to the finish of the part in the process. In the end, we incorporated a range of ferrous and magnetic tooling options to block the part so that the precision grinding operation could take place while preserving the integrity of the component.

This solution allowed us to maintain the part’s exact position, guided by our grinders’ extensive experience and collective expertise. Creative problem solving and a depth of material knowledge that can only be gained through decades of precision grinding allowed us to take a part that had initially failed to meet customer requirements and, with a 13-day turnaround time, deliver the parts that would get the job done.

Contact Duval Precision Grinding today and discover our world-class precision grinding services, expert process engineering, and outstanding customer service for yourself.

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