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    Electroplated Grinding Wheels 101

    Updated: February 21, 2024 Published: November 18, 2022

    In the superabrasive industry, there are many different options of bonding systems available, one stands alone in its ability to maintain a profile while being able to provide superior performance.


    Electroplated grinding wheels are composed of two layers. The base layer refers to the wheel body, generally processed from steel. The body can take a variety of forms depending on the desired shape of the grinding wheel. The working layer, or electroplated layer, houses the mixture of abrasive (either diamond or CBN) and nickel coating responsible for cutting.

    Electroplating is used in the production of grinding wheels as a bonding method. The wheel body is placed in a highly conductive electrolyte solution along with a mixture of abrasive and nickel. A battery source is then introduced, with the positive lead connected to the nickel-abrasive mixture creating a cathode and the negative lead connected to the body creating an anode. The electrical current runs from the cathode to the anode depositing the mixture onto the surface of the wheel body. The result is a grinding wheel that holds its form with no need for dressing. At Eagle, an additional Nickel-Matrix encapsulation layer is added next. Using the same process, this additional layer creates a tighter bond with the abrasive resulting in a 34% increase in the wheel’s lifespan.

    In comparison to other bond methods, electroplated bonds hold their profile throughout usage. This makes them ideal for intricate applications such as medical tool manufacturing, composite machining, and aerospace component production. The aggressive nature of Electroplated wheels can allow for the grinding of difficult-to-cut materials, such as composites and carbon fiber.

    However, electroplated grinding wheels shouldn’t be used for high-rate material removal processes such as creep feed grinding. The excess heat generation that accompanies these expedited manufacturing methods can quickly wear down electroplated wheels. Being undressable, a damaged cutting surface may seem detrimental to the wheel. Unlike other bonds, electroplated wheels can be stripped and re-plated to revitalize their cutting potential.

    Need more guidance? At Eagle, we believe in making small changes to deliver exactly what you want from your grinding wheel. Our application engineers will guide you through the entire process; from understanding your options to product support after your purchase. When you’re ready to get started, our engineers are standing by and can be reached by phone or email to answer your questions.


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