When it comes to the overall manufacturing process of an automotive engine it is easy to assume that valve grinding is a relatively minor step. However, valve grinding is essential to ensure the correct functioning of an engine, and you might be surprised to hear how much a few millimeters can affect a car.
This is why in today’s article we’ll be taking a look at valve grinding machine and their overall importance to ensure your engine operates as intended.
Table of Contents:
- Why does valve grinding matter so much?
- How can you ensure a good valve git?
Why does valve grinding matter so much?
In practice valve grinding is a relatively simple process: You clamp an engine valve to a grinding machine and grind away for a while to ensure the piece is smooth and has the right fit.
The idea of grinding itself is as straightforward as it can be, and admittedly the process isn’t as complicated as boring a new circumference or welding components together. So why is valve grinding such an important step in engine manufacturing? Simple: a bad fit will make your engine underperform immediately.
Valves are the main part responsible for controlling the flow of fuel in an engine, which means that in their “locked” position they have to offer a completely airtight seal. And that’s where inaccurate grinding can be an issue.
A small imperfection in a valve can cause the airtight seal to be broken, and cause fuel to leak. The result is simple: The engine’s fuel consumption won’t be properly regulated, and the engine will immediately underperform.
So in short, even if valve grinding is simple at first glance, improper grinding will cause the engine to malfunction, a situation nobody desires.
How can you ensure a good valve fit?
The fit of a valve comes down to two main components. The valve itself and the valve seat. Together they create an airtight seal, and to do so it’s expected that both parts are a perfect fit for each other.
The fine work for the valve seat is handled by a valve seat boring machine, which carefully cuts out the circumference where the valve will sit. As a result, having a reliable and properly configured boring machine is essential to ensure a bad fit as well. But for general purposes, it’s easier to fix issues on the valve grinding itself.
See boring is a considerably more complex process than grinding, and repeatedly boring a piece is not recommended. Valves however can be replaced and ground as needed, which is why the bulk of valve fit maintenance and QC comes from the grinding itself.
So even if it might seem like something easy to overlook, make sure you get a good valve grinding machine and handle it carefully to avoid any potential issues in production.
Can any valves be ground?
Generally speaking, yes. You can’t grind a valve forever, but valve grinding is a widely accepted and supported practice.
What makes a good valve grinding machine?
As with most industrial machinery: accuracy and efficiency. You’ll usually want a machine that can grind pieces as fast as possible to keep the workflow uninterrupted, but as we saw today accuracy is even more important in the long run.