Based on the different lapping methods employed in industrial applications, the machining process is categorized into two types – hand lapping and machine lapping. This guide will further discuss their differences based on important considerations.
Hand Lapping – An Overview
Hand lapping is a traditional method and is rarely used in the present day. That’s because it’s not only costly but also demands a high degree of skill. Considering the rate at which skilled specialists are retiring, it’s difficult for companies to hire younger men who have the same capabilities.
However, it’s still suitable for fitting work, one-off items, and small production series. In applications where hand lapping is essential, the conditions required for machine lapping must be maintained. This will help produce a precise surface. Moreover, suitable lapping agents and good hand lapping plates must be available to get the desired results.
Hand Lapping Considerations
Plate flatness is difficult to maintain in the hand lapping method, and the lapping oil must be evenly saturated with grit particles to achieve the desired precision. If the lapping film comprises excessive abrased material, it gets resinous and dark. When using the hand lapping method to remove material, the movement must be even and light. However, more pressure can be applied for polishing.
This method involves using loose abrasive powders as a grinding agent at relatively low speeds. The process is employed using single-side and double-side machines. In a single-side machine, only one side of the workpiece is processed at a time. Though the machine can process multiple sides, only one is processed at a time.
On the other hand, in a double-side machine, two sides are processed simultaneously. Though the machine can process multiple sides, only two are processed at a time.
The surface finish on a lapping machine is modified and improved, and the surface’s geometry either becomes flat or spherical in contour because of lapping.
Lapping Machine – Factors to Consider
The lapping machine is associated with low speed, and low pressure grinding and requires using micron-sized abrasive particles. Some movement is required on the lap plate and the workpiece.
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