Double-Disc Grinding vs. Flat Lapping

Double-Disc Grinding and Flat Lapping are cost-effective machining processes for components requiring size control or a fine or specific surface finish. Although these methods have identical purposes, their operations, advantages, and disadvantages vary.

Nifty Bar offers Grinding, Cutting, Milling, and Finishing services for parts, tooling, dies and molds, pre-machined blanks, fixtures, and signages used in various industries. Further, our capabilities allow us to deliver Double-Disc Grinding services that satisfy our client’s need for excellent dimensional control.

This article will discuss the differences between double-disc grinding and flat lapping and assess the best option for various applications.

What Is Double-Disc Grinding?

Double-Disc Grinding uses two opposing abrasive wheels to simultaneously grind both sides of a component. The wheels are side-mounted on a pair of spindles facing each other, and — because both sides of the workpiece are ground at the same time — fabricators achieve faster turnaround time. This method can also achieve tight-tolerance surface finishes, flatness, and parallelism in suitable applications.

This method is often classified into two machine types — horizontal and vertical double-disc grinder — based on how the grinding wheels are oriented and how parts cross through them. A double-disc grinder is horizontal if the wheels are paralleled to the floor and vertical if they are perpendicular.

The product of this grinding technique are flat plates with finishes to 16 Ra and parallel tolerances to .0005″, depending upon material type, size and stock removal.

Applications of Double-Disc Grinding

The most common applications for Double-Disc grinding are as follows:

  • Rotor finishing
  • Connecting rods
  • Hydraulic pump components
  • Orthopedic skeletal implant plates.
  • Aerospace components
  • Knives, Blades & Handles
  • Nontraditional components (glass, plastic, graphite, ceramic)

Advantages and Disadvantages of Double-Disc Grinding

Double-Disc grinding ability is to extract equal parts of material from opposite sides of a workpiece that results in applying a reduced amount of internal stress to the materials. Furthermore, it enhances stability during machining operations, leading to higher accuracy and parallelism. Moreover, up to 50% of pre-machining costs are saved since this technique can achieve flatness tolerance faster than single-sided grinding.

On the other hand, Double-Disc Grinding fails to produce surface finishes as smooth as flat lapping. The latter grinding process is often used to correct irregularities or deterioration on the surface of metal parts.

What Is Flat Lapping?

Flat lapping is a mechanical sanding or polishing procedure where an abrasive is placed between two surfaces that are honed together. This process often results in a more accurate surface finish for elements and compounds like cast iron, ceramics, tungsten, plastics, carbon compounds, stainless steel, bronze, rubber, and silicon.

Applications of Flat Lapping

Flat lapping utilizes abrasive grains mixed with either oil- or water-based liquid vehicles to achieve a smooth surface. This method is typically used in the following applications:

  • Hard and brittle metals
  • Machining materials (e.g., glass)
  • Valve manufacturing
  • Polishing operations (automotive industries)

Advantages and Disadvantages of Flat Lapping

Due to the less complex machining process, flat lapping doesn’t require skilled laborers to complete the procedure, increasing its production rate. This technique also removes burrs on materials to achieve a high surface finish without generating heat.

However, flat lapping is generally slower than double-disc grinding, as only one side of the workpiece is furnished for each cycle. Additionally, it is not as pocket-friendly because it can only remove a minimal amount of stock on the material, and the surface finish needs to be uniform.

Why Choose Nifty Bar

Double-Disc Grinding offers more advantages to consumers than flat lapping. Not only is the former a more practical alternative, but fabricators can achieve a faster turnaround time than the latter.

Nifty Bar delivers Grinding and Cutting solutions with high-precision quality through our services, such as Blanchard Grinding, Double-Disc Grinding, and state-of-the-art Waterjet cutting technologies! Our capabilities and expertise enable us to support product prototyping and part production for the Medical, Architectural, Aircraft, and Automotive Industries just to name a few.

Contact us to learn more about our services or request a quote to partner with us today!



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