As most engineers have probably learned, lapping machines can be an irreplaceable tool to have in the arsenal. The task of the lapping machine is fairly simple; two surfaces are rubbed together with an abrasive between them, which is often used for changing the flatness and roughness of a surface for better accuracy (this may be better accomplished with something like the double side fine grinding machine). While the goal of a lapping or polishing machine can be easily achieved, it’s still important to understand the specifics of what propels these machines to do their best. A grinding machine is, after all, only as good as the person using it.
1. Diamonds are a mechanical engineer’s best friend.
Diamond can be your best choice of lapping solution if you?re working with ceramic or finishing a project that requires edge-to-edge flatness. Lapping with diamond has proven the most effective in tests done with an alumina wafer: the hand polishing step was eliminated, cycle time was reduced by 30 minutes, $14.87 was saved per hour in slurry costs and cleaning time was cut down. Consider looking into diamond the next time you approach your double side fine grinding machine with a ceramic task.
2. There are as many variations as there are needs.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of a lapping machine is the universal appeal and ability to handle varied jobs. Sizes differ to accommodate needs, from table top units to plate configurations as big as 72 inches. Even the simple to operate double side fine grinding machine can handle parts as thin as .002 inches and diameters as wide as 20 inches.
3. Ultimate precision, when used properly.
As previously stated, a lapping machine is only as good as the person using it but it is also only as great as the sum of its parts. Specialized parts added on will help in more specified jobs. For example, when lapping very small specimens a lapping jig can and should be used to hold the item in place. This jig will allow for the best possible precision and orientation for something that would otherwise be very hard to control.
As evidenced, the effectiveness of the lapping machine cannot be underestimated when it comes to engineering projects. Still, the machine requires special care and know-how from the person using it to achieve its full potential as one of the best tools an engineer can have.