Is it safe to grind using the side of the abrasive wheel?

Grinding using the side of an abrasive wheel, commonly referred to as “side grinding,” can be hazardous and is generally not recommended. Side grinding poses several safety risks and may lead to wheel failure, injury, or damage to the equipment. Here are some reasons why side grinding is discouraged:

1. Reduced Wheel Strength:

Abrasive wheels are designed to be used with their flat surfaces for grinding. When you use the side of the wheel, it puts stress on the wheel’s structure and can weaken it, increasing the risk of wheel breakage during operation.

2. Potential for Wheel Explosion:

Side grinding can cause the wheel to overheat, which can lead to wheel failure, including wheel fragmentation or explosion. This poses a severe safety hazard to the operator and anyone nearby.

3. Inadequate Cooling:

The side of the wheel doesn’t receive proper coolant or air cooling, which is crucial for dissipating the heat generated during grinding. Excessive heat can cause the wheel to wear out quickly and may lead to burn marks on the workpiece.

4. Lack of Control:

Grinding with the side of the wheel can result in reduced control over the tool, making it challenging to achieve the desired precision, finish, or evenness in the grinding process.

5. Decreased Efficiency:

Side grinding is less efficient than using the flat surface of the wheel. It may require more time and effort to achieve the desired material removal or surface finish.

To ensure safety and effective grinding, it is recommended to use abrasive wheels in accordance with their intended design, which means using the flat surface of the wheel. Additionally, always adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines, machine specifications, and safety recommendations when working with abrasive wheels. Proper wheel selection, mounting, and usage are crucial to prevent accidents, injuries, and equipment damage.

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