External cylindrical grinding refers to the grinding of an outer surface of a workpiece around an axis of rotation with the part held between centers.
The surface may be a simple straight diameter or stepped, tapered, threaded, or profiled.
The grinder may be configured for:
- Simple plunge operation for straight diameters and complex profiles.
- Angle approach (typically 30°or 45°) for grinding diameters and shoulders without heat damage.
- Universal grinders with several spindles on a rotating turret arrangement or a drop-down auxiliary spindle. Universal grinders are designed to allow use in combination with internal and face grinding operations.
- Combination of plunge and traverse operations. On modern CNC grinders these are often “canned” program operations and may be performed with straight, angle approach or special profile wheels. The process has gained special appeal for high-speed grinding with cubic boron nitride (CBN) abrasives although it is not limited to these conditions.