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Belt Grinder Speeds, Set Up and Troubleshooting

How To Set Up Your Belt Grinder

An often overlooked aspect of grinding when using a belt grinder is what speeds and contact wheels to run.  Different materials require different speeds and contact wheels for optimal belt performance and stock removal as well as productivity. 


Effect of Belt Speed on Cut-Rate 

The higher the belt speed the higher the rate of the cut.  This is because as the belt speed increases, more cutting edges are presented to the workpiece.  This chart gives a general visual representation of this fact. 

Below are some optimal belt speeds that have been found to be ideal for various metals. These speeds may vary a bit depending on the exact grit grade and abrasive grain type, but this should get most operations near the optimal range for high cut rates for improved throughput. 


Belt Grinder Speed by Metal Type

Metal:                              Optimal belt speed (surface feet per minute) 

Aluminum                                            8,500 

Brass                                                   7,500 

Cast Iron                                              6,500 

Carbon Steel                                        6,500 

Nickel Alloys                                        6,000 

Stainless Steel                                     7,000 

Titanium                                               2,500-3,000 


Effect of Contact Wheel Style on Effective Grinding Pressure 

The contact wheel should be matched to the grinding operation.  Not all grinding applications work well with the same type of contact wheel. Some applications require low pressure while others benefit from high pressure. Conformability might also have to be considered depending on the workpiece. Here are some general guidelines for contact wheel selection that have been proven to be effective for each type of grinding operation. 

This chart illustrates how the serrations on a contact wheel affect the pressure that is applied to grinding the workpiece. The configuration of the serrations can optimize belt performance in certain situations. Aggressive serration patterns on the contact wheels are more suited to automated grinding for example. 

Troubleshooting Belt Grinder Problems 

This chart has been developed to help diagnose common grinding problems.  Using the problem column on the left, follow the rows and find each X.  The heading will give a possible solution for that problem. 


Find the Right Abrasive Belt for Your Next Job

Shop AbrasivBoss for the best selection of belt grinder belts at the best price. We have a huge selection of in-stock, ready to ship belt grinder belts from top manufacturers. Not seeing what you're looking for? Give us a call at 855-950-0869 or visit our custom abrasives page for more information on our custom options. 

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