Contoured surfaces add time and complexity when it comes to finishing welds — but since the world isn’t made up of straight lines and right angles, contours can not be avoided in fabrication. Many end products, like ship hulls and storage tanks, involve contours that must be finished to demanding specifications to protect health and even life.
Achieving these specifications frequently involves multiple steps, each using progressively finer abrasive grains, to achieve the types of finishes required. Fabricators faced with finishing contoured surfaces can optimize the process by:
- Minimizing the number of passes
- Reducing the number of different wheels needed
This optimization is where Rex-Cut’s Type 27 Max Flex wheel can help.
Minimizing the number of passes
Material removal efficiency is increased in correlation with more contact surface area between the abrasive and metal. In other words, the more the wheel touches the metal, the more material it can take off. Rigid wheels without give are limited by their physics in how much metal they can touch at one time. In contrast, Max Flex wheels are flexible and “hug” welds. You can watch the “hug” action here. This action increases the amount of surface contact between the wheel and metal, allowing more efficiency per pass. The result is fewer passes are required to achieve the desired finish.
This is amplified on contoured surfaces because the curves restrict the area that can be contacted unless the wheel is flexible enough to wrap around the surface. The flexibility of Max Flex wheels allows them to simultaneously blend the sides of a weld while taking down the weld itself. This provides a wide swatch of uniform finish in fewer passes — that means less time and less wear on the wheel and fabricator.
Reducing the number of wheels needed
Because of difficulty following curves with rigid wheels, they are known to dig or undercut contoured surfaces. This has led many shops to rely on belt sanders or flap discs. The size and shape of belt sanders makes them difficult to maneuver, and changing the abrasive on them can be time consuming. Flap discs can be used with more nimble right angle grinders, but can not provide consistent results over time. Due to the way flap discs wear, the grain fractures into smaller pieces, in essence acting as a finer grain.This causes the metal removal rate to slow, and many flap wheels are discarded early due to this.
Max Flex wheels solve this problem. Because the grain is embedded in the fiber, as Max Flex wears it constantly exposes fresh grain. This allows the wheel to give the same even finish and metal removal rate through the entire life of the wheel. The even wear of Max Flex also gives it a longer life than flap wheels, so fewer wheels are needed and less time is spent replacing them.
In addition Max Flex grinds and blends in one action, so you will only need this one disc to remove a weld and achieve a #4 finish.
Whether your needed finish is desired for cosmetic reasons or to meet strict specifications set by FDA regulators, Max Flex wheels provide flexibility in achieving better results in less time with fewer parts.
Watch the Rex-Cut Max Flex wheel in action and see why it is the best choice for finishing contoured surfaces.