Many facilities have their own hydraulic cylinder honing equipment in order to reduce the cost of outsourcing that service. However, some of the inexperienced technicians at those plants may not know the shortcomings of some of the honing equipment at their disposal. This article discusses some of the shortcomings of rigid honing stones.
Rigid honing stones can usually hone straight when they are still new. However, it becomes harder for them to remain true as they age. This is because every cylinder that they are used to hone keeps reducing how straight the resultant bores will be. The stones end up being contoured to the dimensions of the cylinders that they are used to bore. One must therefore be careful when using older rigid stones during hydraulic cylinder honing.
More Material May Be Removed
Worn hydraulic cylinders usually have a big variation between the high spots and the low spots. Rigid honing stones normally remove material from the cylinder's walls in order to reach the low spots. This can result in decreasing the thickness of the cylinder's walls due to the removal of excessive material during the honing process.
Uneven Honing Pressure
A technician has to use a lot of skill to ensure that each of the stones is exerting the same amount of pressure on the surface that is being honed. Uneven pressure can cause one side of the cylinder to have more material removed than the side where the stone is exerting less pressure. The resulting grooves will therefore be uneven.
Results Aren't Repeatable
Rigid honing stones rely so much on the skills of the technician, as already mentioned. This overdependence on the individual means that it is hard to predict what the honing outcomes will be. This is because the outcomes can be affected by several factors, such as operator fatigue or momentary distraction.
Tooling Costs Are High
The rigid honing stones usually break sooner than the honing stones on a flexible honing machine. This is because it is very hard to be precise about how much honing pressure will be applied during each job. Consequently, more pressure than is necessary is usually deployed during jobs. This accelerates equipment wear.
As you can see, rigid honing stones have many shortcomings that one must be aware of when using them to hone his or her hydraulic cylinders. It may therefore be better for you to outsource some of the high-value cylinders to specialists in case you have not yet mastered how to overcome the shortcomings of your rigid honing stones.