Last Updated on September 13, 2022 by John Robinson
You’ll have to first give it a visual check-over. If it looks clean, you can then use the ‘ring test’ to check for any other problems. Go through these few steps to make sure your wheel can still be used:
Initial visual scan
Clean all debris or residue from the wheel and examine it. If you see cracking or chipping, you cannot use the wheel. A chip or a crack can explode while the wheel is being used. Instead, discard it and get a new one.
If the wheel passes the initial visual check, you can now move on to the soundcheck. What you’ll be listening for is a clear ringing sound. If the wheel sounds dull, it cannot be used anymore.
You’ll need a screwdriver for this check-up.
- Lift the wheel with your finger by slipping it into the spindle hole.
- Balance it on your finger and let the wheel hang perpendicular to the ground. If it’s too heavy, let it rest on its edge on the floor.
- Take note of the centerline running down the middle of the wheel.
- Point the line upwards and turn the wheel 45 degrees.
- Take the screwdriver and tap the wheel with the rear end about two inches from the outer edge.
- If it rings clear, you’re good to go; if it has that dull or hollow sound, you’ll have to discard the wheel.
- Don’t tap it on the centerline on either side of the spindle; you’ll get a drastically different sound than what you want to hear.
- Continue tapping the wheel until you’ve done the entire diameter and reached the centerline again.
An excellent way to know what sound you’re looking for is first to test an unused new wheel from the same manufacturer. If you have one lying around, check its sound first and then compare it to the one you want to test. It should give you a good idea of if the wheel is still usable.
What is the leading cause of abrasive wheel breakage?
The problem with pinpointing an exact reason for wheel breakage is that there are so many elements at play. Here are a few reasons why a wheel might break:
- Poor storage – storing your wheels in dusty places or with no protection could lead to a weakened revolution and so a broken wheel. Instead, ensure they are well secured and cannot take sudden tumbles or be exposed to weather elements.
- Wrong speed – Especially with new wheels. Running a wheel too fast could end up shattering it. Instead, stick to the regulated rate the manufacturer provided.
- Incorrect wheel – if you’re using the wrong equipment, chances are good something will break, usually the wheel.
- Improper mounting – before starting the machine, double-check to make sure your wheel is mounted correctly; otherwise, it could break and your grinder along with it.
Can I run an abrasive wheel faster?
You can, but you run the risk of cracking or even shattering the wheel.
Running a wheel at an excessive speed runs the risk of it shattering in, quite literally, minutes. The projectiles are a danger to everyone around you and could even result in a trip to the hospital.
If you run the wheel only slightly faster, your wheel will begin to wear and crack, which means you’ll have to buy another soon after. Instead, figure out the wheel’s maximum speed rating and stick to the suggested speed.
Other ways the wheel might crack or run faster:
- Mounting the wheel onto an electric motor.
- Mounting it on the wrong machine size.
- Not keeping up with the maintenance for your grinders and machines.
- Using the incorrect air or hydraulic supply.
Factory recommendations are there as much for efficiency as they are for safety, stick to those recommendations, and both your wheel and machines will stay safe.