Grinding a crankshaft is an art in itself, as the demands made on this essential component found in every engine are huge: ever longer runtimes demand the highest precision in their manufacture. The radii not only have to be perfectly round, but the bearing surfaces have to be of perfect quality, too. In short: every surface of this pivotal engine component allows for only the tightest tolerances, otherwise there is no guarantee that the engine will run smoothly.
Words by Markus Isgro
The Devil is in the Details
One can easily imagine that grinding radii and surfaces using a combination machining process faces its own problems. For instance, grinding the radii requires a number of passes, as the shaft can only take a certain amount of pressure before it "bends;" whereas the pressure exerted when grinding the surfaces is not an issue, as it works in an axial direction. These varying pressure and pass requirements are evident on the wear patterns of the grinding wheel.