Important research efforts are being devoted to the analysis and optimization of grinding operations. Due to the large number of variables involved in the process, a deeper understanding of the nature of contact mechanics between wheel and workpiece is required. The possibility of a sound estimation of the actual contact length is a critical issue, since this is related to thermal phenomena, chip geometry and pressure distribution.
In this work, a new methodology for the estimation of the actual contact length in grinding is presented. The proposal uses the theoretical definition using numerical simulation of an indicator that univocally determines accurately the contact time on the plot temperature vs. time as measured by contact thermocouples. Experimental results show an excellent fit with previous estimations of contact length found in literature. The method can be extended to the characterization of wheel topography.