Abrasive Wheels Marking System
The abrasive wheels marking system is one of the methods in place to help ensure safe use of abrasive wheels. Understanding the abrasive wheels marking system is one of the topics covered on abrasive wheels training courses. It is integral to choosing the correct abrasive wheel for machine and task.
An Abrasive Wheel is a man-made wheel used for cutting or grinding that consists of abrasive particles bonded. There are different types of abrasive wheels which are made for different tasks. Some wheels are more suited to non-precision based work and some more suited to precision based work. Some wheels are designed for hand-held machinery such as a grinder and some wheels are designed for machinery.
Knowing which wheel to use for each task and type of machinery is a vital skill that is part of abrasive wheel training. Using the incorrect wheel for a task can have potentially fatal consequences. It should be noted that the abrasive wheel marking system is just one part of the abrasive wheels course. This article is in no way meant to replace such courses.
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER 98)
The risk of breakage of abrasive wheels in inherent due to the nature of the abrasive wheel and the tasks they are used for. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER 98) is there to help protect machine operators from work related injury and ill-health. Part of this legislation is to protect machine operators and to try to limit the possibility of breakages and of course the associated potential injuries. Statistics show that almost 50% of abrasive wheel related injuries are due to operator error or unsafe work system.
Abrasive Wheels Markings
Abrasive wheels markings should conform to Annex A of BS EN 124133
The maximum permitted speed should be marked on all abrasive wheels over 80mm in diameter. The speed should be marked in revolutions per minute (rpm) and meters per second (m/s). For wheels under 80mm in diameter it is not practical to mark the wheel due to the size, so the maximum permitted speed should be marked on a notice in the workshop which can be easily seen. For speeds of 50m/s and over a colour coded stripe will appear on the wheel.
Restrictions of Use
14 Annex A of BS EN 124133 and BS ISO 5255 specify how wheels should be marked to indicate the restrictions for their use.
- RE1 – Not permitted for hand-held and manual grinding machines.
- RE2 – Not permitted for hand-held cutting off machines (see example).
- RE3 – Not suitable for wet grinding.
- RE4 – Only permitted for use in a totally enclosed are.
- RE6 – Not permitted for face grinding.
All organic bonded abrasive wheels have a shelf life or a use before date. This is three years from the date of manufacture.
All abrasive wheels should also have a traceable number which enables tracing of the source of the manufacture or the wheel.
Of course as already stated the abrasive wheels marking system is just one of the topics covered on abrasive wheels training courses. Other course topics include storage of abrasive wheels, handling of abrasive wheels, choosing the correct wheel for a machine/task.